Revisiting global health in an interdependent world

An article in the January 4, 2014 issue of The Lancet calls for a new, broader conceptualization of the term “global health” that acknowledges the “interconnectedness—both across countries and across sectors—in the causes and effects of health threats, and interdependence in our capacity to respond to them effectively.”

Co-authors Julio Frenk, dean of Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH); Suerie Moon, lecturer on global health at HSPH; and Octavio Gómez-Dantés of the National Institute of Public Health, Cuernavaca, Mexico, maintain that old notions of global health—the idea that rich countries should respond to health problems in poorer countries, or that technology can fix most health problems—represent a “reductionist perspective” that fails to acknowledge “that most global health problems have strong behavioral, cultural, social, political, and economic determinants that demand comprehensive—not only technical—approaches.” Frenk and co-authors suggest that nations and non-government organizations should create a “global society” in which participants have “a widely shared understanding of health interdependence and an acceptance of some responsibility for the health of others as members of the same society.”

Read The Lancet article

Learn more

A call for better governance in global health (HSPH news)

A new development framework for emerging powers (Huffington Post article co-written by Dean Frenk)