In New Chief Editor, A New Chapter for Global Health Action

When Professor Stig Wall had the idea to launch a new global health journal close to 10 year ago, it was to address “the great divide between low-to-middle-income countries and higher wealth nations in health research and resources — and to publish research focused on low-and middle-income countries.”


“Historically, the key topics in global health and medicine have been published in the north by northern researchers,” said Wall. “And research that has been conducted on the south has also been conducted by northern researchers. We wanted to change this.”

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GHA’s new Editor-in-Chief, Nawi Ng

Wall, who had already served many years as the chief editor of the Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, was at the time a professor of epidemiology and health care research at Umeå University and director of its Centre for Global Health Research.

His aspirations though were to create, in his words, “a truly global journal”, striving to publish more work by researchers from LMICs; to be a journal that mentors young researchers – and to give particular focus to research related to capacity building.

In 2008, Global Health Action launched with Wall as editor-in-chief. Under his editorship, the journal has grown into what Osman Sankoh, executive director of the INDEPTH Network and an advisory board member for GHA, has called a “go-to journal for public health.”

“And now it’s time for the next chapter,” says Wall.

The new year brings historic change at GHA – as Wall steps down as chief editor (though he will continue on as senior editor), and former managing editor Nawi Ng takes on the top editorial position.

Ng, who holds both MD and PhD degree, is an associate professor and senior lecturer in epidemiology and global health at Umeå University.

“The importance of the work that we publish — in what we are working to accomplish with GHA – can’t be understated,” said Ng. “I’m honored to have been chosen for this role in particular.”

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Founding Editor-in-Chief, Stig Wall, with his successor, Ng.

“Being from a low-to-middle-income country, I truly understand the knowledge gap that exists between LMICs and high income countries,” adds Ng, who is involved in the INDEPTH Network and has participated in the multi-center studies on chronic disease risk factors surveillance (WHO STEPS study) and on adult health and aging (WHO SAGE study).

In terms of the future, and his plans as editor, Ng said: “Our vision is to be the most respected journal in the global health field, contributing to building capacity of young and promising researchers in LMICs through our mentorship program and narrowing the health information gap — nothing short of improving health in low- and middle-income countries.”

“I’m looking forward to the months and years ahead,” adds Ng, “and to helping move us even closer to this vision.”