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The value of including Global Health in the training of health professionals
  1. Elizabeth Molyneux1,
  2. Bernadette O'Hare1,2,3
  1. 1 Department of Paediatric and Child Health, College of Medicine, Blantyre, Malawi
  2. 2 Department of Global Health Implementation, College of Medicine, Blantyre Malawi & St Andrews, Scotland
  3. 3RCPCH Advisor to East Africa, RCPCH, London
  1. Correspondence to Dr Elizabeth Molyneux, Department of Paediatric and Child Health, College of Medicine, Blantyre 3, Malawi; emmolyneux{at}

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What is Global Health?

We live in a ‘global village’, face global climate changes, global financial downturns and global epidemics, and need global policies. So what is Global Health?

Global Health has grown out of public health and international or tropical health. Whereas public health is largely focussed on preventive care and is usually within a country or a community, and international health is mainly about the health problems of low income or middle income countries and the binational assistance given to them. Global Health deals with those health issues that may affect many countries, irrespective of their level of development. It includes both clinical and preventive health care and goes beyond the traditional health specialities to include a wider range of disciplines such as economics, biomedical engineering, city planning, social science and policy making. It addresses problems such as epidemics (eg, HIV, influenza) and also health issues resulting from urbanisation, climate change, tobacco use, micronutrient deficiencies, and other challenges to well-being (figure 1).

Figure 1

Global influences on health.

Global refers to the breadth of the problem rather than a geographical location. Global Health adopts a philosophy of mutual respect, making use of real partnerships through which experience and knowledge are pooled to the benefit of all parties. It is not a one-way flow of ideas and effort.1 Above all, Global Health is premised on the need for universal and equitable provision of healthcare.

Why is Global Health important?

Nations are interdependent economically. Travel and rapid communications have changed the exposure to environments and diseases that influence the health of peoples. All paediatricians should be …

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  • Contributors EM and BH both contributed equally to the content and writing of the paper.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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