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Addressing upstream determinants of health in Germany’s new global health strategy: recommendations from the German Platform for Global Health
  1. Jens Holst
  1. Nursing and health sciences, Hochschule Fulda, Fulda, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jens Holst,Nursing and health sciences, Hochschule Fulda, Fulda, Germany; jens.holst{at}

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  • To strengthen its expanding role in global health, the German government is currently preparing a new global health strategy, to be published in 2019.

  • As social, political and economic determinants are highly relevant for population health, the German government will need to increase coherence in order to promote its emphasis on creating equal opportunities and reducing inequalities in and between countries.

  • For further strengthening its commitment to universal health coverage, for promoting decent work and healthy labour conditions, and for enforcing the right to health, the German government will have to stress the mandatory role of the public sector for global health.


Just 5 years after adopting the first global health concept, the German government is currently preparing a new strategy paper for implementing a coherent global health policy.1 Public-health experts had warned at the time that the 2013 strategy might fail to make a consolidated contribution to solving global health challenges. The former concept exhibited important gaps, particularly in the areas of non-medical determinants of health, national and global inequity, and universal social protection for migrants, refugees and sans papiers.2

This journal published recently a paper containing procedural recommendations for the further elaboration of the strategy.3 Accordingly, the German Platform for Global Health (DPGG), an association of trade unions, non-governmental organisations and researchers, wants to highlight a series of crucial content issues which are indispensable for effectively contributing to global health. Germany’s growing role as global health actor4 calls for a multidisciplinary, coherent policy for improving people’s health worldwide.

For the relaunch of the global health strategy paper, the Federal Government organised two preparatory meetings with civil society and invited different actors to elaborate their priority recommendations.5 In the context of the participatory process initiated by the government, the DPGG, an association of …

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