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Reimagining Global Health | May 21-24, 2024Many hands grouped together in a circle.


Online only. Course will be live to online participants approximately 9:00am to 1:00pm (Montreal time) each day May 21 – 24, 2024. All content will be recorded and accessible to participants until July 1, 2024.


Since colonial times, global health has always been more about charity, goodwill, and saviorism, rather than justice, rights, and equity. Without education and reflection, it is easy to perpetuate this saviorism model of global health. To counter this, we need to reimagine a better model, one that is rooted in justice, equity, human rights, and self-determination. As we deal with massive, transnational challenges that threaten our very existence (e.g., widening economic inequities, conflicts, pandemics, and climate change), our ability to act as global citizens, forge genuine partnerships and demonstrate authentic solidarity and allyship may well determine our shared future.

This interactive course aims to give students the opportunity to broaden their understanding and knowledge of global health issues, including core topics such as the colonial history of global health, power asymmetries in global health, privilege, racism & allyship, global health governance, social determinants of health, and health inequities. Given the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, the course will use pandemics and climate crisis, two existential threats, to illustrate the challenges and opportunities inherent in global health work. Throughout the course, the need to ‘decolonize’ global health,’ as well as to practice authentic allyship will be highlighted. The course will help students to avoid a white saviorism approach to global health. The course will also encourage students to consider the glocal model and address health disparities wherever they occur.

Note May 13th: Enrollment for this course has reached capacity and is now CLOSED.


Madhukar Pai, MD, PhD
Chair, Department of Global and Public Health, School of Population and Global Health, McGill University
Canada Research Chair of Epidemiology & Global Health, McGill University


Headshots in grid pattern of all contributing faculty to the course.

  • Seye Abimbola, University of Sydney
  • Catherine Kyobutungi, African Population and Health Research Center
  • Thirusha Naidu, University of KwaZulu-Natal
  • Fatima Hassan, Health Justice Initiative
  • Themrise Khan, Co-Editor, White Saviorism in International Development
  • Ananya Banerjee, McGill University
  • Tim Evans, McGill University
  • Shashika Bandara, McGill University
  • Julia Robinson, PLOS Global Public Health
  • Stephanie Nixon, Queen’s University
  • Himani Bhakuni, University of York
  • Anant Bhan, Yenepoya University
  • Christine Ngaruiya, Stanford University
  • Samuel Oji Oti, IDRC
  • Ngozi Erondu, Co-Chair, The O’Neill-Lancet Commission on Racism, Structural Discrimination and Global Health
  • Anna Stewart-Ibarra, Inter-American Institute for Global Change Research
  • Daniel Krugman, Brown University
  • Renzo Guinto, St. Luke's Medical Center College of Medicine, Philippines
  • Rochelle A. Burgess, UCL Institute for Global Health
  • Grace Umutesi, University of Washington

Faculty are still being confirmed and there may be changes to the above list.


The course consists of lectures (including guest lectures from experts around the world), discussions and inspiring videos/films or podcasts.

As explained by Dr Pai and several other global health teachers (BMJ Global Health 2021), the course will attempt to:

  • Use COVID-19 & climate crisis as a teachable moment, and use them to focus on equity and human rights as a central theme in global health.
  • Cover the importance of understanding racism and white supremacy in global health, and include content on privilege, anti-oppression, anti-racism and allyship.
  • Include content on coloniality in global health and the persistent power asymmetries that affect every aspect of global health (e.g. inequity in Covid-19 vaccine access).
  • Center the course on Black, Indigenous and people of colour speakers, especially experts from the Global South, Indigenous scholars, and individuals with lived experience.
  • Teach students to avoid a white saviorism approach to global health and to see and address health inequities wherever they occur, not just in low-income countries.


By the end of the course, participants will understand:

  • Understand the colonial origins of global health, and the deep-rooted structural inequities that characterize the field
  • Gain a clearer idea of the possible contributions that they can make in this area as global citizens who deeply care about solidarity, equity and justice


This course is aimed at senior level undergraduate students, medical, nursing, and allied health students, and graduate students interested in global health.


Limited to 100 online participants.

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