The Meaning Behind Global Health
As more information surfaces regarding health issues in communities all of the world, many of these fundamental health risks form the basis for public policies specific to those populations. However, there seems to be an emerging trend of initiating worldwide policies to improve what is referred to as “global health.” What does global health mean? Here are a few defining aspects that can clarify its meaning.
Transcending National Boundaries
The main aspect of global health, as opposed to public or individual health, is its transnational nature. Global health issues are issues that are faced by all populations in the world, regardless of biome location or income. Here are a few issues that are being researched and addressed:
- Non-communicable Disease (NCD) – Diseases such as cancer and diabetes pose a serious risk to world populations, often due to poor behavioral habits and lack of education or medical care.
- Infectious Diseases – With international travel and trade an essential part of the global economy, infectious diseases are more easily spread between populations.
- Nutrition and Sanitation – A key part of preventing major illness remains to be educational resources regarding proper nutrition, as well as enforcement of sanitation policies.
Another key part of the definition of global health is its basis on clinical research. Based on scientifically gathered health data patterns, this research helps to provide insight into causes of prevalent issues in world populations as well as into what could be done to help solve those crises. Through the clinical research of global health providers, more information is gathered to help understand why certain health crises area gaining momentum, and how to hold governments accountable to the enforcement of health-promoting policies.
Influence on Policy
As the overarching goal of global health proponents is to influence governmental policy in countries all over the world, it seems important to note what aspects of policies would be affected by global health research. Here are a few:
- Travel Restrictions – When governments are alerted of viral outbreaks, they can enact policies to restrict travel to and from those areas to keep them contained.
- Environment – Government policies on regulating pollution can help not only their own population, but their national neighbors as well.
- Education – Governmental policies to educate people on proper nutrition and sanitation make a big difference on individual and public health.
When it comes to the health of the world’s population, there seems a need to hold governments accountable to initiate policies restricting risks to the health of individuals and communities in every nation. Thanks to many of the world’s leading scientists, the push for research and implementation of global health initiatives may bring the balance needed to promote better global health.