Global Health

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SDG3: Good Health and Well-being - Learning Resouce supports the SDGs - UN-Guidelines[1]

Definition[edit | edit source]

Global health is the health of populations in a global context;[2] it has been defined as "the area of study, research and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide".[3] Problems that transcend national borders or have a global political and economic impact are often emphasized.[4] Thus, global health is about worldwide health improvement, reduction of disparities, and protection against global threats that disregard national borders.[5] Global health is not to be confused with international health, which is defined as the branch of public health focusing on developing nations and foreign aid efforts by industrialized countries.[6]

The predominant agency associated with global health (and international health) is the World Health Organization (WHO). Other important agencies impacting global health include UNICEF, World Food Programme, and the World Bank. The United Nations has also played a part with declaration of the Millennium Development Goals.[7] International health employs several perspectives that focus on the determinants and distribution of health in international contexts:

  • Medicine describes the pathology of diseases and promotes prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
  • Public health emphasizes the health of populations.
  • Epidemiology helps identify risk factors and causes of health problems.
  • Demography provides data for policy decisions.
  • Economics emphasizes the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit approaches for the optimal allocation of health resources. Furthermore Economical situations can be determinant of health in societies (e.g. economical constraints determine the exposistion to toxic substances).
  • Other social sciences such as sociology, development studies, anthropology, cultural studies, and law can help understand the determinants of health in societies.

Both individuals and organizations working in the domain of global health often face many questions regarding ethical and human rights. Critical examination of the various causes and justifications of health inequities is necessary for the success of proposed solutions.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. UN-Guidelines for Use of SDG logo and the 17 SDG icons (2019/05/10) -
  2. Brown TM, Cueto M, Fee E; Cueto; Fee (January 2006). "The World Health Organization and the transition from "international" to "global" public health". Am J Public Health 96 (1): 62–72. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2004.050831. PMID 16322464. PMC 1470434. 
  3. Koplan JP, Bond TC, Merson MH; and others (June 2009). "Towards a common definition of global health". Lancet 373 (9679): 1993–5. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(09)60332-9. PMID 19493564. 
  4. Global Health Initiative (2008). Why Global Health Matters. Washington, DC: FamiliesUSA. 
  5. Macfarlane SB, Jacobs M, Kaaya EE; Jacobs; Kaaya (December 2008). "In the name of global health: trends in academic institutions". J Public Health Policy 29 (4): 383–401. doi:10.1057/jphp.2008.25. PMID 19079297. 
  6. White F, Nanan DJ (2008). "International and Global Health". In Maxcy-Rosenau-Last. Public Health and Preventive Medicine (15th ed.). McGraw Hill. pp. 1252–8. ISBN 9780071441988. 
  7. "Millennium Development Goals". United Nations. Retrieved 2013-03-15.

Page Information[edit | edit source]

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