Global health policy researcher
Corinne focuses on areas such as health systems, human resources for health policy, and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Currently, her main focus is the Health Systems Advocacy Partnership.
Corinne’s work experience has contributed to her knowledge of non-communicable diseases (cardio-vascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity) and of nutrition and food issues. She also has extensive knowledge of the Dutch public health sector, which has led to her understanding of the linkages between what we do here (in The Netherlands and Europe) and the effects on health systems in low- and middle-income countries (and vice versa).
Corinne studied Sociology at Wageningen University with specializations in health education and public health. After graduation she worked in Niger, Ecuador, Bangladesh and Italy. In 2001, she earned her Master’s in Public Health at the NSPH (now NSPOH). For several years thereafter she worked for GGD (Dutch Community Health Services), the Netherlands Nutrition Centre, the Dutch Heart Foundation and the Dutch Cancer Society (DCS).
“Health and wealth are incredibly unevenly distributed globally. This is unacceptable, especially in this day and age, where we have committed to the Sustainable Development Goals and have pledged to leave no one behind. We have the money and the means to deliver on our joint Health for All pledge, but the money doesn’t flow naturally to the lowest point where it’s most needed. Instead, it stays in places where it adds little value, and where it often worsens the already existing inequalities.
This is evident, for example, in the Human Resources for Health arena where I work. Richer countries have more money to train and employ health and social workers than poorer countries. They also offer higher salaries and better working conditions than care facilities in lower resource settings. We can clearly observe increasing health worker mobility around the world, whereby the richer regions end up having most health workers. But the needs of the poorer countries are much bigger!: only 3% of the world’s health workforce is deployed on the African continent, while it suffers from 24% of the global disease burden. Small wonder that Universal Health Coverage in Africa is still a distant dream.
Wemos addresses these issues by looking at underlying causes, and by proposing alternative policy options that will benefit those left behind in a more structural way. These alternative options also involve Dutch policies, be it in our health sector (by not draining health workforces of countries with critical shortages) or our international cooperation (investing our money more equitably. It sounds very abstract, and sometimes it is, but it gives more satisfaction than going for quick wins. Working at strengthening systems for better health and health care is quite a niche in the international development arena, and Wemos has managed to become a respected partner, through perseverance and dedication, for 40 years already. I’m proud to contribute to this work.”