Exploration of Global Health

Defining international or global health is important and some consider global health
synonymous with public health. Select one of the following two statements:

  1. Global health is public health requiring similar training and research methods.
  2. Global health is a separate discipline requiring specific training and research methods.
    Identify at least two arguments that support the selected statement and provide sources to
    support those arguments. Identify and discuss one historical event that is important in how
    global health is understood today and how that event supports your argument. For one of
    your substantive responses, identify another classmate that selected the opposite statement
    and provide at least one point of agreement and one point of disagreement.

Exploration of Global Health

The statement “global health is a separate discipline from public health that requires
specific training and research methods” is accurate. The first argument supporting this statement
is that global health uses different methodologies and strategies for disease treatment, prevention,
and management; this is due to the difference in scale (Jamison et al., 2017). While public health
workers are more focused on a grass-root national level, professionals in global health get
involved in health care issues and policies that go beyond national borders. The most recognized
global health agency is the World Health Organization, which coordinates and manages health-
centered activities for nations around the world. Such an effort requires a different approach
from public health due to the differences in culture, healthcare systems, and national policies.
Another argument that reinforces the statement is that global health is mostly a diplomacy effort
by international agencies like WHO that brings together experts in public health, management,
law, international affairs, and economics. The professionals negotiate an agreement for the
handling and management of international health to decrease these risks (Jamison et al., 2017).
Such a focus means that health professionals in global health are necessitated to have the skills to
engage in interdisciplinary collaboration.

A historical event that led to the current definition of global health is the Spanish flu
pandemic of 1918. The virus demonstrated that no nation exists in isolation. The world has
become globalized, primarily due to international travel and international trade. These
developments have been accompanied by the increased risk of spreading infectious diseases, and
each nation must take steps to protect citizens. These steps are described as part of the global
health plan that is agreed upon by countries.

Jamison, D. T., Gelband, H., Horton, S., Jha, P., Laxminarayan, R., Mock, C. N., … & Jamison,
D. T. (Eds.). (2017). Global health 2035: a world converging within a generation.
Washington, DC: Oxford University Press for the World Bank.