Global Health Between Corporate Interests and Common Good - Lessons from the Coronavirus Pandemic

July 17th - 23rd, 2022

The 2022 summer school explored the interconnections between globalised capitalism, inequality and health.  We focussed on ways in which ethics can guide/support our work as health professionals and political activists dedicated to Health For All. Participants from various countries took part in a dialogue with professionals from diverse backgrounds in order to identify problems and to discuss potential solutions. 

The coronavirus pandemic and the measures to contain it have brought ethical questions in health care and health policies to the forefront. The pandemic has highlighted both the global connectedness and the fragility of our societies. Above all, the pandemic has exposed the global divide of our world society, as blantantly illustrated by the unequal distribution of access to COVID-19 vaccines. African intellectuals and politicians have called it a “vaccine apartheid.” How is it possible that even at the moment of a health emergency of this magnitude, the international system has proved incapable of  ensuring an equitable and effective pandemic response? 

The coronavirus pandemic and its responses also clearly exposed the severe consequences of the economisation of health care. COVID-19 hit health systems across the globe, many of which had been subject to neoliberal restructuring for several decades.

However it also offered an  opportunity to address the issue of health as a commodity versus health as a common good and the expression of a human right, and reveals the necessity thereof.  The pandemic has begun to stir a political and ethical debate on the postcolonial patterns and immense democratic deficits in global health and global health policy.

During the summer school we approached these diverse but interconnected topics from different perspectives. We asked questions such as: How can health and democracy movements react to the need for transformation that the pandemic has so clearly indicated? What can we learn from different perspectives, experiences and resistances around the globe? And how can we begin to build a fairer, more responsible international system that makes true the promise of Health for All? 

For more information please check out the 2022 programme and participants handbook.

Participants' Voices 2022

The summer school helped me understand the pandemic responses and health adversities faced by different countries across different parts of the world. The concepts of global health and neoliberalism were elaborated. The diversity of the contents for the summer school was amazing. Especially the ideas on degrowth were illustrated pretty well. I also got a better understanding of the changing priorities of the responsible global health organizations for the sake of funding assurances.


I was also impressed from the social excursion to the“Gesundheistkollektiv”. It brought a glim hope to the already shifting health financing approaches in the global north. Beyond all, the summer school has provided a family feeling that connects different dots from the globe. Thanks to the team for this exhausting but brilliant week.


Bibek - medical student at Tribhuvan Univerity, Kathmandu, Nepal

It is such a privilge to participate in the Global Health Summer School for the year 2022 in Berlin! It has been a great opportunity to not only broaden my own perspectives but to expand my professional networks. It has been extremely rewarding to share my previous experiences and knowledge with other participants, to know their own experiences and to look at Global Health from different aspects including economic aspects.


Another really amazing aspect were the great and enriching discussions we had in diverse discussions on COVID responses in our countries. I have gained so much insight from the other members. I am very grateful to IPPNW and Charite for this opportunity and can't wait to see what the future holds!


Sara - pharmacy student at University of Khartoum, Khartoum, Sudan

For me the time was flying during the Summer School. It was a very enriching week due to an inspiring program and a great community – thank you to all the participants, organising team and the speakers! At the Global Health Summer School I learned a lot of new insights from people around the world and different disciplines; medical students, practitioners and social scientists. It was a safe space, where we could also reflect on our own experiences, where we took care for each other and laughed a lot too. I really enjoyed the variety of theoretical presentations, experiences from activists and creative approaches, which often were combined in the projects.


Besides the COVID-19 pandemic, we spoke about inequalities, discrimination, and public health in conflict and war situations. To contribute the equity to health care and to take in mind the social determinants of (mental) health and wellbeing has been fundamental for me. All in all, it was an amazing week which encouraged me to follow the contents and I would recommend it to everyone who is interested in health related topics.


Franca - PhD student at University of Tübingen, Germany

The Summer School met all my expectations and changed my perspective!  I gained more insight into the problems our society faces regarding the current state of the planet. What I appreciated was the focus on the inequalities in our Global Health System on various levels. Also, I got a clear understanding on how the pandemic affects different sectors and countries worldwide.


I’m happy to say this program helped me/developed me in more waysthan just health related. I learned how to bring awareness to my space and the space of others. This experience is one that will stay with me forever! I’m glad I could be a part of this year’s programme.


Abraham - medical student at Odessa National Medical University, Ukraine

Get an impression of the 2022 Global Health Summer School here.

The Global Health Summer School 2022 - A Personal Reflection

The Covid-19 pandemic has put to the forefront the global connectedness of our societies whilst revealing and exacerbating the inequalities and violence shaping these very dynamics.


Supported by:

ENGAGEMENT GLOBAL mit Mitteln des Bundesministeriums für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung



and Medical Peace Work






Health and Globalisation Health and Globalisation Health and Globalisation

Health and Globalisation