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The International Union for Circumpolar Health (IUCH) is an international non-governmental organization, with members, adhering bodies and affiliates throughout the circumpolar regions.  There has been a long-standing need for the exchange of medical knowledge, as well as the results of recent research and demonstrated solutions to problems for the benefit of humankind. Arctic communities, with the general and specific medical and health problems found in this region, obviously share this need with the rest of the world. The health problems and needs of northern peoples has become the focus of the only organization of its kind dedicated to the health problems of the circumpolar regions--the International Union for Circumpolar Health.

The circumpolar health movement began in the 1960's in order to bring together medical scientists, health care specialists, health administrators, and indigenous peoples of the Far North. The purpose of these efforts was, and still is, to share research findings and program successes that are unique to these regions of the world in order to reduce death, disease, and disability, and to improve the quality of life for all those living in the North. As a result of the circumpolar movement, a unique International Congress series was developed. This series has grown into the premier international gathering of arctic health professionals.

In 1981, the IUCH was formally established as a unique entity at the 5th International Congress on Circumpolar Health held in Copenhagen, Denmark. The IUCH is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization incorporated in the State of Alaska. Thus the IUCH is a multilateral scientific union, currently headquartered in Copenhagen, Danmark, which strives to contribute to the growing body of scientific medical and public health research data for the circumpolar regions and globally.

In order to support its members and affiliates, and the scientific and indigenous communities at large, the IUCH has clearly established working groups that concentrate on specific health problems of importance to circumpolar populations, maintains several publications and supports international efforts in Telemedicine and Health Informatics.


The objectives of the IUCH are to:

  1. Promote international cooperation in circumpolar health;
  2. Encourage and support research and exchange of scientific information in the circumpolar health sciences;
  3. Promote public awareness of circumpolar health;
  4. Provide a means of communication with other scientific organizations;
  5. Promote and encourage the participation of indigenous peoples in circumpolar health affairs.

For More Information

International Union for Circumpolar Health
National Institute of Public Health
Svanemollevej 25, DK-2100 Copenhagen
Phone +45 3927 1222
FAX +45 3927 3095


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