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Global Public Health Challenges

by Suleman


Public health challenges are not just local, national or regional, but a global factor. They are not only within the domain of public health specialists but also among the key challenges to the societies. The problems for public health have become political and cross-sectoral. They are intimately connected to environment and development and are essential to national, regional and world security.

The global health faces some challenges two of which are connected to money. They include the search for sustainable support and the effect the inequitable availability of funds has on individuals. Institutions and leaders who are essential to global health have hardly acknowledged these threats, much less developed policy solutions or adaptations. The world health focuses on the well-being of the public mentally, physically and psychologically.

History and Philosophy of Public Health

Public health has been defined as the science and art of forestalling diseases, promoting physical fitness and efficiency through organized community attempts for the sanitation of the environment (Thomas, 2001). They also focus on controlling community infections, providing awareness to individuals in principles of personal hygiene, the organization of medical and nursing services for diagnosing and apply preventive treatment earlier. It also emphasizes on developing social machinery that ensures a standard of living to every individual in the society for the maintenance of health. The World Health Organization focuses on the complete physical, mental, and social well-being in the individuals’ state and not just the absence of disease or infirmity. This concept of health can also be found from the evidence of earlier communal living (Santos, Lewis & Scully, 2012). Homo sapiens suffered from mainly the same illnesses that people suffer from today as seen from the study of fossils and other artifacts.

Role and Responsibilities of Developing Public Health

The position responsibilities of developing world health are mostly commanded by the World Health Organization. They do so through strategic planning and funding. The total world health budget was around $5.6 billion including the contributions which are set by the poorer countries to cater for their citizen’s healthcare and preventing diseases. The objectives were public health goals like controlling parasites, immunizing children, providing safe drinking water, and nutrition (Eckenwiler & Hunt, 2014). No other body came to close to taking such resources or defining the strategic and ways of world health.

Several US government foreign agencies and centers for controlling diseases ran around $850 million combined. They focus on health programs which mostly are on a bilateral basis. The government of France contributes a budget of about $600 million, and in funding and influence, it is ranked third. There are also the private sector and nongovernmental donors who expend around $500 million combined, and the rest of the applied external support in developing countries comes from Sweden, Italy, Japan, and UN agencies. Every significant meeting between the World Bank, global leadership and the ministers of finance let in the world health issues on its agenda. They set HIV and malaria on the front of the queue in the programme. Since Jim Yong Kim who is a medical doctor held office at the World Bank, the bank has set up innovative measures for health (De Silva, Huttly, Harpham & Kenward, 2007). It is now one of the largest financiers and most influential of health.

Obstacles to Improving Health of the Population

By assuming that the primary diseases as a problem have been defeated could lead to the responsible organs for health acting as maintenance service. Nobody has the thought of realizing the civilization diseases like diabetes, cancer, mental health problems, dementia, and obesity would come to play. There are various obstacles to improving, promoting and maintaining the health of the public. They mainly fall into three major groups. The first is the challenge of controlling the risk factors for chronic diseases, to eradicate them or even try to delay their onset. The other obstacle is the ability to endure the health inequalities in some countries. The other is the fact of forgetting communicable diseases has the capability of surprising us as Ebola epidemic did in Africa which was almost becoming a global catastrophe (De Silva, Huttly, Harpham & Kenward, 2007).

Efficacy of Health Policy at Local, Regional, National and International Level

Health policies are the plans, determinations, and actions that are considered and implemented to achieve individual health goals in the society. Precise and clear health policy is capable of producing several things. A good strategy will define the vision for tomorrow which will then help to initialize targets and details of reference for the short and average term. It states the precedencies and the typical responsibilities of different groups (Gahr, 2008). A clear policy also establishes consensus and provides information to the people.

The ministries of health represent their nations in the global health in the state and the national level. The world and regional organizations like the West Africa Health Organization and the World Health Organizations represent the local and international level. The responsibility of the policy differs between the levels. The policy-making and implementation are will never stop since it is an ongoing process which is the interrelated cyclic task and is revolutionary. The method of monitoring and implementing policy goes through some phases which include: input, process, output, outcome, and impact (Marmot, 2018).  The health policies state that health should be within reach of all, without differentiation of religion, race, social or economic condition or political belief.

Ill health on mental and physical conditions has a significant impact on the population. People with poor mental health will have poor physical conditions, and poor physical condition will mean poor psychological state. People with ill health are associated with stress and tiredness (Gahr, 2008).  This condition makes the population unable to work. When people don’t work as expected, they are likely to lack food and the other basic needs. Poor health of one person in the family affects the entire family. If this process is continued at the local level, it will end up to the national level, and it will be finally a global problem. This shows that poor health can lead to low living standards, poverty, and poor economic performance and growth.

Challenges for Global Public Health

  1. Sustainable Financing

Some countries have been highly relying on foreign support for their public goods, specifically for health. These countries are now trying to transition to sustain themselves with implementations which are grounded in revenue which is generated domestically.  A good example is South Africa, which is working to make sure it has its all national health effort (Helble, 2010).  Producing universal access to healthcare and get rid of the external support by 2020. The percentage receives as aid has been decreasing. There are more mediocre countries like those that do not have extraction industry resources. Such countries will not be able to sustain themselves in the next decade, and they will continue to rely on aid (Alwan, Ali, Aly, Badr & Doctor, 2016). In sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and South and East Asia, domestic taxes cannot meet the needs more so where there are high health exigencies.

There has been a debate over the effect of the surge of world health funding has caused in the countries that receive it, on their willingness to increase or maintain their financial commitment to health programs. India has developed economically and has increased wealth, but it has not been able to provide quality and affordable healthcare to its citizens. Most children in the country suffer malnutrition and remarkable growth.  Some donors have focused on funding self-sufficiency based on revenue generation. Organizations like UNAIDS has concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa targeting about $15.5 billion annually (Helble, 2010). The donated finance is being followed to make sure it goes to the intended purpose of health and another sector like infrastructure.

  1. The Global Wealth Disorder

The nature of global order and economics is changing radically. Life is being controlled by supra-national wealthy concerns that live all over the world and manipulates the lion’s share of the planet wealth and capital. In a specific period, a billionaire in China had far more user interests and political accord with other financials in England, Brazil, Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi that he shared with his fellow countrymen. The wealth of the richer is growing than those of the general population. By 2050, the world is expected to turn upside down with its capital. India is likely to lead with China being the second followed by the US.  Then Indonesia, Brazil, and Nigeria will follow (Thomas, 2001). Europe is predicted to miss in the top tier. This radical shake-up will be displayed by the absolute national wealth.

Currently, the world is experiencing a wealth gap in many countries. In western societies, the middle class is shrinking in relative personal wealth and size.  This wealth disorder is an excellent challenge to global wealth since those countries that lack enough finances will always rely on international aid. The set of macroeconomic trends raises a riddle for world health and developments attempts which has termed states as poor, wealthy or emerging. Research has shown that there is a correlation between increasing wealth disparity and the rate of survival for the child (Walt, Shiffman, Schneider, Murray, Brugha & Gilson, 2008). It stated that concentration of wealth in small segments of the population is killing children in needy families.

  1. Food Supply in the World

Investors have cast their wealth in investing in food commodities. They have focused on future crop markets. The rise in the world market of these commodities causes inflation leading the millions of people in poverty. Accessing the appropriate nutritious food is essential for the human health, but to date, the world health architecture has not been able to absorb food problems in any but a rhetorical fashion (Alwan, Ali, Aly, Badr & Doctor, 2016). If the population is capable of accessing appropriate food, it can help in improving public health.

  1. Aging population

The aging population is expected to increase shortly, more than it has doubled in the past decade.  The economic, societal, and public health significance of their prevision is substantial. Currently, there is a percentage of the world population that is above 65 years. A good example is Italy where the community will have over one million people over 90 by 204, and China where over 330 million people are estimated to be older than 65 years. The increase of the elderly population is seen as a world phenomenon.

The static that decides the aging population is lower fertility rates in the past years outstanding to various causes, migration, and reduction in mortality because of longer life expectancy. Aging of the population is a problem for medicine due to increasing number of the elderly patients and their various implications. Comorbidities are very costly for example the cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, chronic renal disease and cancer, and their respective complexity because of the time they are diagnosed (Marmot, 2018). The problem is pharmaceutical costs for the control of incurable diseases. There is also the creation of the risk of disability and dependence.

  1. Controlling the Global Obesity Epidemic

Until comparatively recently, the disease was considered a problem associated with socioeconomic with high stats. It started as a public health problem in the developed world. Today the prevalence of obesity is growing at an alerting rate in many areas of the world. The study indicates that in recent years, increase in obesity is in the developing countries like Thailand, China, and Mexico (De Silva, Huttly, Harpham & Kenward, 2007).  The growth of obesity in developing countries was first affecting the higher socioeconomic classes of the population fundamentally.

From the study and evidence from the previous research, obesity has been linked to various psychological and physical health conditions.  It is described as a public health crisis that sternly destroys the health and quality of life of people and also adds to the national health care budgets. Obesity is not an adult problem only but also a problem that affects children.


The boom in the world health funding, governments and organization’s interest can save lives. Public health is essential in the development of the world and also to enhancing population’s standard of living. World’s public health should be a thing of interest and great care to every individual. If the various wealthy nations, world donors and the appropriate society and regional organizations put effort and take the proper actions, we can be able to overcome the discussed challenges.

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