Global health

Global health is the health of the populations in the worldwide context;[1] 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".[2] Problems that transcend national borders or have a global political and economic impact are often emphasized.[3] Thus, global health is about worldwide health improvement (including mental health), reduction of disparities, and protection against global threats that disregard national borders.[4][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] Global health can be measured as a function of various global diseases and their prevalence in the world and threat to decrease life expectancy in the present day. Estimates suggest that in a pre-modern, poor world, life expectancy was around 30 years in all regions of the world.[7]

Headquarters of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

The predominant agency associated with global health (and international health) is the World Health Organization (WHO). Other important agencies impacting global health include UNICEF and World Food Programme (WFP). The United Nations system has also played a part with cross-sectoral actions to address global health and its underlying socioeconomic determinants with the declaration of the Millennium Development Goals[8] and the more recent Sustainable Development Goals.

There are a number of institutions of higher education that offer global health as an area of study such as Harvard University, McGill University, The University of Western Ontario, York University, Toronto Ontario Johns Hopkins University, University of Oxford, University of Warwick, University of Bonn, Karolinska Institutet and the Balsillie School of International Affairs. Transforming Global health was the theme for the celebration of World Pharmacists Day on 25 September 2020.


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