Every year we organise 1 or more symposia about global health with a different theme each time.

Below you will find reports of our most recent symposia. For an overview of all previous editions, you can click here.

2023: European Conference on Global Health (ECTMIH2023)

ecftmih2023-utrecht-3As the curtains close on a remarkable conference, we extend our deepest gratitude for your enthusiastic participation. ECTMIH2023 was more than a scientific gathering; it was a shared exploration that activated not only our minds but also our hearts and bodies, fortifying our collective commitment to planetary health and universal well-being.

A special thanks to our esteemed speakers, dedicated chairs, meticulous organizers, and the enthusiastic volunteers who contributed to the success of this event. Your efforts created an atmosphere of collaboration and knowledge-sharing that made the conference truly exceptional.

Did you miss ECTMIH2023?

Don't fret! The sessions from the main hall have been recorded and can be found here. You can rewatch many highlights from the comfort of your own house, or re-watch to revive your memories. Keep an eye on our website, social media and newsletter. 

Photos & podcast

Much insightful information has been collected by Doris van der Heijden and Ashis Brahma in their ECTMIH2023 podcast. More than 40 interviews have been conducted! You can find the podcast episodes with daily recaps here, and individual interviews will continue to be added over the next few weeks. Our great photographers Kors de Bruin and Sam Hundersmarck have captured the conference beautifully. We will continuously add their pictures to this folder. The recordings of the sessions that took place in the main hall will also be made available in the next few weeks, and circulated through our ECTMIH2023 newsletter, organising partners and social media (#ECTMIH2023).

Planetary health page

Moreover, take advantage of our Planetary Health page, featuring valuable resources, including a free 10-hour Planetary Health course. Elevate your understanding of planetary health and health equity and explore ways to contribute to a resilient future. We would love to hear from you if you have resources that we can add to this page. Please share these through the feedback form (see below) or contact us via

For those keen on continuous learning, know that consider the Elevate Health Course on Planetary Health, available until January 15th, 2024. This online course, developed and presented in collaboration with UMC Utrecht and other esteemed institutions, delves into key aspects of planetary health.

Stay up to date!

Don’t miss any Global Health & ECTMIH information by registering for the newsletter of the Dutch organising bodies. To register, scroll down on this page and leave your informations behind. 

See you at ECTMIH2025?

Stay connected with us through FESTMIH, NVTG, Knowledge Centre Global Health (KCGH), and UMC Utrecht, and all other partners. We look forward to meeting you again during ECTMIH2025 in Hamburg, Germany: 29th September - 2nd October 2025.

Once again, thank you to everyone present for being part of ECTMIH2023. Your passion and dedication contribute to the global dialogue on health equity, global health, planetary health and sustainability. Let’s keep our planetary health glasses on in all our future work! 


Photos: Kors de Bruin


2022 Decolonising Global Health



‘THE TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGING’: an old song, a new reality. We all experience the effects of global crises, whether as result of climate changes or failing (economic, political, or societal) systems. Understanding and grasping the determinants underlying these global crises, and their disproportionate effect on vulnerable people, is necessary to instigate CHANGE. This exploration cannot be done without addressing the consequences of political and economic structures of the past and the colonial reality that shaped (and continues to shape) societies at large.
The aim of the DECOLONISING GLOBAL HEALTH event was to jointly reflect on the implications of DGH for us, global health professionals and students. Starting point for this journey is to share and learn from collective and individual perspectives on the theme. We explored the colonial impact on health systems, and on social injustice and health inequities worldwide.

Some of the dilemmas and questions we discussed include:

  • What does DGH really mean to any of us, considering your personal story?
  • What does it mean for your functioning as a global health student or professional working within an institution that reflects (neo)colonial structures or practices?
  • What are the characteristics of genuine and equitable partnerships (in global health practice, and in academic systems)?
  • How can I increase my awareness of (colonial) patterns around me and become part of the CHANGE?


The day closed with award ceremonies: Sauerwein Medal, winners of the KCGH thesis prize, and graduates from the GH MD training programme.


Did you miss the symposium or would you like to see it again?
Click here for an overview of the recordings of the sessions.


Aftermovie (down below)


  • Decolonising humanitarianism or humanitarian aid? – Keynote1 by Tammam Aloudat – Medical doctor, humanitarian worker, president of the Board of Médecins Sans Frontières Netherlands
  • Solidarity is just a word – a global pandemic of hoarding. With a focus on vaccine nationalism – Keynote 2 by Fatima Hassan – South African human rights lawyer and social justice activist and founder of the Health Justice Initiative
  • Reflections on the impact of DGH for global health professionals a debate on personal, institutional and societal impact of DGH
  • Abstract presentations and DGH among early-career researchers - Uniting Streams
  • How ‘decolonial-sensitive’ is the new Dutch Global Health Strategy? - Remco van de Pas Deutsche Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit, ITG and Maasticht University
  • Making Health Justice Happen: global health advocacy in practice - Wemos
  • Training programme MD GH - Closed session for trainers
  • Global health soundbites on
    (1) Terminology in Global Health (practice, research & education)
    (2) Fairness and integrity in research
    (3) Equitable Partnerships in Educational (Med) Exchange
    Facilitator and introduction: Judith van de Kamp
  • Roadmap to action
  • Award session Sauerwein Medal, KCGH and OIGT

Accreditation 6 points


Aftermovie Decolonising Global Health Symposium

Keynote 1 by Tammam Aloudat - Decolonising Humanitarianism or humanitarian aid?

2021 NVTG Symposium Climate Changemakers in Health - From Science to Action


Call to act

The devastating effects of climate change on access to clean air, safe water, food and safe environment are becoming more visible in our daily lives. Existing health treats are likely to intensify (such as mortality from water – and vectorborne diseases) and new health treats will emerge (such as deaths from heat stress); with the impact mostly felt in areas with a weak health infrastructure and among vulnerable populations.

The call to act, formulated during the 2019 NVTG symposium ‘Climate Emergency’ was clearly heard and lead to the establishment of the Working Party ‘Zorg voor Klimaat’ (Care for Climate). This year’s symposium aims to continue to express concerns on the effect of climate change on planetary health, and to join forces –  in line with the recent 2021 IPPC Report on Climate Change and the focus of the 2021 Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in November in Glasgow.

Scientific insights will guide the discussion during our symposium and the floor will be given to ‘changemakers’ in health.

During the breakout sessions we will give the floor to several sustainability pioneers in the Dutch Health Care system. They will collaborate give an overview of best clinical practices, most promising research topics and how to speak up as a health professional in the public debate.  


Did you miss the symposium or would you like to see it again?
Click here for an overview of all recordings.


Promo film


Chair of the day: Ellen Mangnus

Welcome by:

  • Sofie Jacobse & Inge Schepens - 'Zorg voor Klimaat'

Keynotes by: 

  • Are we ready to build health systems that consider the climate? Renzo R. Guinto, MD Dr PH - Associate Professor and Inaugural Director, Planetary and Global Health Program, St. Luke’s Medical Center College of Medicine, Philippines. Chief Planetary Health Scientist, Sunway Centre for Planetary Health, Malaysia
  • Communicating the impacts of climate change through art and dance - Melvine Anyango Otieno, PHA Next Generation Fellow, University of Eldoret, Kenya, Planetary Health Alliance
  • Which science for which climate action? Integrating science, community and culture for climate justice - Gustavo A. García-López, Assistant Researcher, Centre for Social Studies, University of Coimbra and holder of the Prince Claus Chair, International Institute of Social Studies, Erasmus University Rotterdam (2019 – 2021) with focus on ‘Sustainable Development, Inequalities and Environmental Justice’

Break-out sessions:

  • Climate changemakers in the consultation room - best clinical practices. During this interactive session we will give you a few examples of viable approaches of sustainable healthcare practices. The ‘Groene Zorg Alliantie’ will host the session. Thereafter our two guest speakers  will give an informative and inspiring talk. Our opening speaker will be Iris Wichers , general practitioner and working at the NHG, who recently released an eBook on sustainable healthcare in primary care. Our subsequent speaker is Myrtle van der Wel, member of ‘De Jonge Specialist’,  will tell us more about the their recently published guideline about sustainability in healthcare.

  • Climate changemakers in the research field. For our session "Climate changemakers in the research field” we will focus on what is being studied on the mutual relationship between climate and health from a global to a local perspective. There will be three speakers: George Downwards (Assistant professor at UMC Utrecht with a focus on health risk assessment and disease prevention). George will tell us about air pollution in a global context; Evelyn Brakema (General practitioner in training and senior researcher at LUMC). Evelyn will focus on the impact of healthcare on air quality/pollution and will present a research project on the use of more sustainable asthma inhalators; Martine Rutten (Associate professor Water management TUDelft). Martine will talk about climate adaptation, water management and health.

  • Climate changemakers in society/public debate. The world is changing and we need to change with it. In this session, organised by 'Into the World', Julia van Boven (Sustainability Consultant of ABN AMRO) will give us a glimpse of the expected, major upcoming transition in the financial corporate business, that will hopefully lead to a brighter future for all of us. Lena Hartog, who was selected as one of the Sustainable Young-100 professionals, will tell us about the 3 worlds that we are all part of, and the choices you can make to influence the future of these worlds. At last, you will be given tools to reason for your good cause by 'Dokters in Debat' own board member Koen Gorgels, Resident Infectious Disease Control.

Plenary panel discussion with changemakers in health:

  • Arte Groenewegen - is a fifth-year medical student from Utrecht University driven by a special interest in planetary health, anthropology, and ethics. In the past 1.5 years she has wholeheartedly devoted her time to ‘De CO2-assistent’; a group of medical students advocating a structural implementation of planetary health education into the medical curriculum. De CO2-assistent believes that future doctors should be equipped for the transformation towards sustainable healthcare, by rediscovering their interconnectedness with(in) nature, acquiring system-thinking skills, and learning how to practice medicine sustainably. De CO2-assistent engages in many collaborative efforts with climate and health advocacy groups throughout The Netherlands. In Utrecht, Arte and her peers follow a two-track approach. While working on long-term implementations in both bachelor and master, they simultaneously motivate lecturers to integrate planetary health topics in the already existing courses.
  • Peter J. Blankestijn - did his medical school and training internal medicine at the Erasmus University and Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam. Presently, he works as a nephrologist at the department of Nephrology and Hypertension of the University Medical Center Utrecht, the Netherlands, where apart from clinical work he is active in research and education. Since 2017/2018, he is active on a national and international level in creating awareness for the interaction between climate change/environmental pollution and health/disease and initiated various initiatives on this subject. In October 2020, he was awarded as the best Green Health Care Professional of 2020 by an independent jury in a contest initiated by the national government. In October 2021 he acquired an Erasmus+ grant of the European Commission to lead an international consortium that will make a platform for educational materials on planetary health primarily meant for the medical curriculum, but accessible for everybody. 
  • Nicole Hunfeld - is a hospital pharmacist and clinical pharmacologist, specialized in Intensive Care in Erasmus MC, Rotterdam. She is project leader of the Green Intensive Care, chair of the Green team of the Intensive Care and member of the Sustainability Taskforce of Erasmus MC. She is also the chair of the national Green Intensive Care Platform. Her goal is to create a 100% circular Intensive Care in 2030. She works together with sustainability professionals from TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam. For her Green Intensive Care project she was awarded the Sustainability Award 2021 from Erasmus University Rotterdam. More information about this project can be found in the following media sources: De Volkskrant, 1Vandaag, Rijnmond and Hart van Rotterdam.
  • Esther Putman - BSc MSc PhD (biology/toxicology) Coordinator Research and International affairs of the Sustainable Health Care Team of ministry of Health Welfare and Sports in the Netherlands. This team aims to accelerate the sustainability of the health care sector. Esther started career at the Medicines Evaluation Board in preclinical safety assessments and guideline development. Subsequently she worked at the ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on worker safety regarding plant protection products and biological agents. In 2012, she started at the ministry of Health Welfare and Sport in the public health department as a crisis coordinator and subsequently as policy advisor on “the healthy living environment”.


  • Chiem van Straaten - Spoken word artist and a researcher familiar with multiple scientific disciplines
  • Juliette Mattijsen - IFMSA and Act4health

Accreditation 5 points


2021 Symposium Mind Matters. NVTG symposium on Global Mental Health


Programme & links

Programme NVTG Symposium Global Mental Health
Programme Uniting Streams turbo-talk sessions
Abstract book Unitings Streams turbo-talk sessions
Flyer Mind Matters

Part I - Global Mental Health keynote speakers:  

  • Paul Bekkers, Special Envoy Mental Health and Psycho Social Support at Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
  • Joop de Jong, Em Prof of Cultural Psychiatry and Global Mental Health, Amsterdam UMC and Boston University School of Medicine.
  • Mark Jordans, Professor of Child and Adolescent Global Mental Health at the University of Amsterdam and Director of Research and Development at War Child Holland.
  • Nagendra Luitel, Head Research Transcultural Psychosocial Organization, Nepal and PhD Candidate University of Amsterdam. 
  • Marit Sijbrandij, Associate Professor Clinical Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Research and Dissemination of Psychological Interventions.
  • Claudi Bockting, Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry, Amsterdam University Medical Center and Co-director Centre for Urban Mental Health.

Chair: Rembrant Aarts, psychiatrist at Mentrum Mental Health, MD Global Health and Tropical Medicine (AIGT).

Part II - NVTG: 

Uniting Streams: abstract presentations of promising researches in Global (mental) health. 

Awarding of the first (2021) Sauerwein Medal 

Launch of the NVTG Knowledge Centre. 


It took decades of advocacy to get recognition for mental health, not as a separate and isolated, but as an integral important part of health (“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being… “). Followed by the years in which the mental health community worked on research on diagnosis, treatment and care of people suffering from mental illnesses – by, among others, conducting clinical trials and operational research gathering evidence on ‘what works’, where and how. Now it is time to more prominently position mental health within global health, in research and in practice. 

In this symposium we will focus on one particular area of global mental health: psychosocial support in LMICs, including in conflict situations. As Sigrid Kaag, Dutch Minister of Minister for Foreign Trade and International Cooperation, mentioned on the occasion of the International Conference on Mental Health & Psychosocial Support in Crisis Situations 2019 in the Hague: “Crisis situations can impact lives in a variety of ways. And yet within the domains of humanitarian assistance and development cooperation, the focus is almost solely on the treatment or reconstruction of physical damage. For too long now, the international community has focused exclusively on healing the physical injured and rebuilding devastated structures. Somewhere along the line, it has forgotten that broken souls need mending too.” Increasingly, this part of mental health has become a priority area for many health professionals, governments and policy makers. And rightfully so, as the figures speak for themselves. 




Kenniscentrum Global Health (KCGH)
Arthur van Schendelstraat 650
3511 MJ Utrecht

KVK 78717590


Kenniscentrum Global Health is opgericht door de NVTG en het OIGT met als doel global health kennis toegankelijk en bruikbaar maken ten behoeve van de Nederlandse gezondheidszorg.

KCGH wordt gesubsidieerd door het ministerie van Volksgezondheid, Welzijn en Sport.

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