What Are the Most Common Global Health Issues? What Are the Most Common Global Health Issues?

Common Global Health Issues

Even though “global health” is a much talked about buzz term, there is no standard, universally agreed upon definition for the term global health. Some popular definitions define global health as:

– The goal of improving health for all people in all nations by promoting wellness and eliminating avoidable diseases, disabilities, and deaths. 

– Public health for the world.

– Transnational health issues, determinants, and solutions… a synthesis of population based prevention with individual-level clinical care

Many people agree that global health is the interdisciplinary study of health across international borders where research is done to find ways to provide equitable health care to all people in the world, as well as trying to improve the health of all populations across the globe. 

Common global health issues include but are not limited to:

Environmental Factors

Pollution and climate change are environmental factors that are becoming more prevalent as major global health issues. According to the World Health Organization, 90% of the world’s population breathes high levels of pollutants, and poor air quality is the cause of some 7 million deaths annually. 

Non Communicable Diseases

Non Communicable diseases are responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide. A noncommunicable disease (NCD) is a disease that is not transmissible directly from one person to another. NCDs include most cancers, autoimmune diseases, strokes, most heart diseases, type 1 diabetes, chronic kidney disease, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, to name just a few of the noncommunicable diseases that make up this global health issue.

Access to Health Care

Despite many advances in medicine and the significant efforts of governments and non-government agencies to provide accessible health care and health education, communities across the globe still lack access to basic health care and education.

Political Factors

Conflicts within a country and across borders often destroy critical Infrastructures that provide necessary means for good health. When things such as transportation, water supply, sanitation and waste management are interrupted or destroyed, the people who rely on these things often have their health compromised by not having them.

HIV/AIDS

Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is the virus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). While high income countries have access to drugs that have success in suppressing the virus in many people affected with HIV, there are many parts of the world whose populations do not have affordable access to them. It is estimated that as many as 70% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa are infected with HIV. 

Pandemics

Influenza and virus pandemics are inevitable in the coming years. We unfortunately don’t know when and where these will hit, and how severe they will be. There are vaccinations available to protect people from what researchers feel arethe most prevalent strains of the flu but unfortunately they cannot protect people from all of them.

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