Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp

The Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium (ITM) has a long record of research on health service organization, health sector reform and health care financing in a variety of countries. It organizes an international Master in Public Health (MPH) focusing on health care systems management and health policy. Participants are mainly health managers and policy makers from Asia, Africa and Latin America. ITM has identified a strong research team for this project.


Bruno Meessen (
Bruno Meessen is a health economist, who has a great deal of practical experience with health intervention studies. He was the scientific co-coordinator of the INCO-DEV project “Hospitals in Change” (ICA4-CT-2002-10030) on rural hospitals in China and Cambodia. He is currently the international co-coordinator of a work package of the FP 6 project “POVILL” (Poverty & Illness).

Wim Van Damme (
Wim Van Damme (MD, MPH, PhD) is an expert in health policy. He has been involved intensively in health care organization and in research in Cambodia for nearly 10 years. When he was the medical co-coordinator for Médecins Sans Frontières in Cambodia (1999-2002), he launched that country’s first health equity fund

Bart Criel (
Bart Criel (MD, MPH, PhD) is an expert in health service organization and rural health care financing (especially community-based health insurance).  ITM has established an institutional relationship with the Center for Advanced Studies through the POVILL project.

Selected publications

Hardeman, W., Van Damme, W., Van Pelt, M., Ir, P., Heng, K., & Meessen, B. 2004, "Access to health care for all? User fees plus a Health Equity Fund in Sotnikum, Cambodia", Health Policy and Planning, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 22-32.

Meessen, B., Van Damme, W., Tashobya, C. K., & Tibouti, A. 2006, "Poverty and user fees for public health care in low-income countries: lessons from Uganda and Cambodia", Lancet, vol. 368, no. 9554, pp. 2253-2257.

Meessen, B., Zhang, Z., Van Damme, W., Devadasan, N., Criel, B., & Bloom, G. 2003, "Iatrogenic Poverty", Tropical Medicine and International Health, vol. 8, no. 7, pp. 581-584.

Noirhomme, M., Meessen B., Griffiths, F., Ir, P., Jacobs, B., Thor, R., Criel, B., & Van Damme W. 2007, "Improving access to hospital care for the poor: Comparative analysis of four Health Equity Funds in Cambodia", Health Policy and Planning, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 246-262.

Van Damme, W., Van Leemput, L., Ir, P., Hardeman, W., & Meessen, B. 2004, "Out-of-pocket health expenditure and debt in poor households: evidence from Cambodia", Tropical Medicine and International Health, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 273-280.