In the name of global health: trends in academic institutions

J Public Health Policy. 2008 Dec;29(4):383-401. doi: 10.1057/jphp.2008.25.


This paper describes accelerating development of programs in global health, particularly in North American academic institutions, and sets this phenomenon in the context of earlier programs in tropical medicine and international health that originated predominantly in Europe. Like these earlier programs, the major focus of the new global health programs is on the health needs of developing countries, and perhaps for this reason, few similar programs have emerged in academic institutions in the developing countries themselves. If global health is about the improvement of health worldwide, the reduction of disparities, and protection of societies against global threats that disregard national borders, it is essential that academic institutions reach across geographic, cultural, economic, gender, and linguistic boundaries to develop mutual understanding of the scope of global health and to create collaborative education and research programs. One indication of success would be emergence of a new generation of truly global leaders working on a shared and well-defined agenda--and doing so on equal footing.

MeSH terms

  • Developing Countries / economics
  • Education, Public Health Professional / economics*
  • Global Health*
  • Humans
  • International Cooperation*
  • Public Health / economics*
  • Public Health Practice / economics
  • Tropical Medicine / economics