What Is Global Health? 5 Global Health Issues You Need To Be Aware Of

Aug 1, 2019 by

Many, if not all, medical professionals will tell their patients that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But with that said, what can people do to address the causes of illnesses?

Sure, diet and exercise are beneficial and will make a lot of change, but it can only do so much. There are other factors outside our bodies that go beyond our control, which can cause sicknesses!

Because of our limits on how we control our health, it’s important to understand more about health and wellness. That’s when global health comes along, which helps us find solutions based on the uncontrollable factors which affect our overall health and wellbeing.

If you’re wondering about what global health is and the issues that need to be looked into, read on! I’ll show you all about global health and its issues we need to be aware of.

What is Global Health?

Global health is how we understand healthcare in both international and interdisciplinary contexts. This includes studies, research, and the practice of medicine which focuses on improving both everyone’s health and healthcare equity worldwide.

There are many global health initiatives which focus on both medical and non-medical practices, from cultural studies down to sociology and more. You can find many prominent organizations and agencies such as World Health Organization focusing on advancing global health. Plus, there are various universities and researchers that help provide studies and more knowledge to find solutions to the many global health issues which arise.

Through learning how everything connects with global health and pooling all resources, it can help benefit both human and animal health in the long run. As a result, it can improve the way we work in other disciplines, from better focus on education to more energy for work.

Five Global Health Issues You Need to Be Aware Of

Now that you know what global health is, what are the main issues to be aware of? While the list goes on and on, these are the big challenges we face:

1. Pandemics and Noncommunicable Diseases

Pandemics are disease outbreaks that happen worldwide. Some examples are influenza, Ebola, HIV, or other viral illnesses which show the vulnerability of widespread diseases. And unfortunately, many of these diseases are originated by animals.

There are new pandemic threats that happen yearly, some of which can’t be solved. Diagnosing the symptoms and illnesses happen only after the victim becomes infected. Fortunately, we can cut off these issues before it happens through addressing crucial points such as health education and good agricultural practices.

The same goes for noncommunicable diseases, which are what account of up to 70% of deaths all around the world. These are usually connected with various factors, such as genetics, environmental, behavioral, or physiological aspects.

This is where education plays an extremely important role, helping people understand and change their lifestyle. From the use of vices down to poor diets, this can help lessen the occurrence of NCDs.

Again, prevention through practices even beyond medicine will help in keeping such pandemics to the minimum. Or, it can cut it off from happening again.

2. Environmental Factors

When people think about environmental factors, they think about air pollution and climate change. These are also important factors which can adversely affect our health as well. Because of lack of clean water sources and proper sanitation, it can cause various diseases.

This is also the same if threatening weather conditions like storms, floods, and droughts come along. It would disrupt our basic survival needs for large groups of people, which lead to malnutrition, dehydration, and other deadly consequences.

The best solution is to provide necessary resources such as water, as well as teach about sanitation. However, the best way to prevent such illnesses is to prevent environmental challenges.

3. Economic Disparities and Healthcare Access

Even with a ton of advancement in medicine and technology, communities worldwide lack access to education and healthcare. With the harsh realities of malnutrition and STDs, these are what hit people under poverty or haven’t received proper sex education.

We can alleviate these issues by reducing disparities which isolate such communities. Some disparities are due to geography, such as rural communities lacking healthcare. Some are income inequality, as many can’t afford education or healthcare.

Fortunately, there are good solutions. We can encourage medical professionals to visit and practice in rural areas and introduce laws that improve healthcare for all.

4. Political Factors

Politics is one of the reasons why individuals are unable to have access to healthcare. With conflicts between or with nations, it can destroy the population’s basic needs and equality. Because of this, it can increase the risk of illnesses, whether it’s from politics which damage infrastructures, or refugee migration.

If ever this does happen, it’s best to prevent illnesses from migration from happening. This can be down with refugee healthcare access and to increase efforts to endorse policies that help with humanitarian crises.

5. Animal Health, Food Sources, and Supplies

Animal health is connected with human health, and many communities use animals for their livelihood. Because of their close contact with such animals, it can influence both animal and human health. If an animal catches a disease, there’s a huge chance of humans catching it as well.

To prevent such animal diseases from catching on to humans, veterinary practice and vaccines must be made. Also, action must be done to improve animal care and shelter for their overall health.

Wrapping It Up

While all these global health issues can seem overwhelming, we should never lose hope. Fortunately, there are many people who work hard towards finding solutions, as well as organizations and universities who study for the advancement of global health, e.g. MSIH, WHO, and more.

It all begins with knowledge and I hope this informative article on global health helped you out. Start learning more about global health and what you can do today!

If you have any questions or want to share your knowledge on the topic, do comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated.

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