The Biggest Issues in Global Health Today

Every year the distance between communities on Earth becomes less significant. As technology and modernization means increased contact and travel between communities, the need to understand health as a global issue becomes more relevant. In order to work towards improved global health, we must first ask what are the global health issues facing the world today?

Vulnerable Communities

There are a variety of ways a community can become endangered, each with their own unique problems. Drought and famine, accelerated through changes in global climate, can lead to shortages of food and make formerly thriving locations unlivable. Human actions, like war and occupations, can also cause the need for locals to leave their homes when access to basic living necessities are denied by the conflicts.

Anti-Vaccination Movements

The World Health Organization estimates that 1.5 million deaths per year could be avoided through global vaccination coverage. Despite the global health value of vaccination, there remains a movement against vaccination, even in communities where access to vaccines is not restricted.

Epidemics and Pandemics

There are many viruses and diseases which have the potential to cause massive harm when they are transmitted throughout a community. Whether threats are widespread around the planet or confined to particular regions, they still represent a global health risk. Identifying the most pressing diseases, and developing strategies to not only improve the health of those afflicted, but also to reduce the risk of further spreading, is an essential act of global health awareness.

Noncommunicable Diseases

Although communicable diseases are a threat, 70 percent of the world’s deaths can still be attributed to noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Global health experts understand the importance of working to build healthier lifestyles in communities around the world. By spreading awareness of the hazards of carcinogenic activities, and increasing physical activity around the globe, the number of deaths from these diseases can be reduced.

Antimicrobial Resistant Infections

Although antiviral drugs and antibiotics are valuable tools in maintaining global health, the overabundance of antimicrobials we consume can pose its own threats. The increased amount of antimicrobials in the environment and our food sources can have adverse effects in the form of antimicrobial resistant diseases and viruses.

Insufficient Health Care Opportunities

The unfortunate reality of modern healthcare is that many countries still lack sufficient health care coverage. A global healthcare initiative has to include plans to work within communities where inadequate healthcare exists to modernize and provide the care that is needed to reduce the risk for those who live there.