BMJ Global Health: HIFA members comment on 'Defining global health as public health somewhere else'

16 May, 2020

Congratulations to HIFA members Sara Fischer, Poorva Patil, Chris Zielinski, Lori Baxter, Francisco Javier Bonilla-Escobar, Shabina Hussain, Claudia Lai, Sarah Walpole, Francis Ohanyido, David Flood,  Ambrish Singh and Najeeb Al-Shorbaji - who have co-authored a piece in BMJ Global Health, based on recent HIFA discussions.

Commentary: Is it about the ‘where’ or the ‘how’? Comment on Defining global health as public health somewhere else 

Summary points:

  1. The original commentary by King and Koski makes many important points, but we feel that the definition they provide, suggesting that the field is distinguished by the geographical relationship between practitioners and recipients, is too limiting.
  2. We propose an alternative definition of global health as public health everywhere, which takes into account the ‘how’ as well as the ‘where’, and we urge readers to emphasise equity in addition to geography.
  3. In our global health ecosystem, health problems, and the people who experience, prevent, solve and study them, are interconnected and cross national boundaries.
  4. Good governance, increasing use of local expertise, locally appropriate sustainable technologies and knowledge exchange programmes across countries and communities can all play an important role in delivering public health everywhere.