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International cooperation in health research

Diseases know no borders. This fact is just as true for fatal epidemics like Ebola as it is for the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria or the worldwide increase in diabetes and cancer. Global challenges of this kind can only be mastered through dedicated networked commitment involving international partners.

Health systems around the world are faced with a whole range of often identical challenges: for example, ageing populations requiring the appropriate care, and increasing levels of chronic diseases and antibiotic resistance. In addition, the world’s poor need the solidarity of the developed nations: Urgently needed drugs, vaccines and strategies must be developed in order to be able to fight poverty-related diseases and fatal epidemics like Ebola effectively. To achieve this, the health systems in developing and emerging countries must also be strengthened on a lasting basis.

International efforts are required to meet all of these challenges – at European and at global level. That is why the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is contributing to numerous international collaborations. At the same time, it is also improving the conditions for the European and global networking of medical research in Germany. After all, international collaborations bring together material, financial and human resources to accelerate medical progress.