Global health is a growing area of concern that has attracted the attention of not only scholars, but also international leaders and organizations. This is based on the fact that there are a range of challenges affecting global health. Additionally, a country cannot promise the health of it population without addressing problems affecting other nations across the world. The undesirable disparity in health between and within nations and advancement in technology are other problems.
Countries the world over are suffering from chronic and infectious diseases such as cancers, cardiovascular illnesses, diabetes, malaria, Zika, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and chronic lung diseases among others. These diseases are draining household resources. The poor are mostly affected since they lack resources to access healthcare. In regards to this, global health problems necessitate global initiatives. The best approach to spending global health funding is by allocating it to the most cost effective interventions and to the most stubborn problems, those causing most deaths and affecting most people. The United Nations agencies, the private sector and developing countries are major recipients of global funds and they should ensure that they foster innovative interventions to address immediate problems and focus on long-term prevention.
A major health priority is achieving an Aids-free generation. Global health intervention could help in ending HIV/AIDS by the year 2030 according to the United Nations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) plays a major role in leading international effort towards achieving the goal. Interventions such as the use of antiretroviral drug therapy (ART), medical male circumcision, HIV counseling and treatment and life-saving treatment is playing a major role in the prevention and treatment of HIV.
Secondly is alleviating illnesses and deaths from malaria. Malaria killed 429,000 people in 2015 and led to 212 million illnesses. It has a global projected financial burden of US$ 12 billion yearly. Globally, about 3.2 billion people have a high likelihood of contracting malaria. Through global health interventions, CDC, World Health Organization (WHO) among other world partners have helped in saving 6.8 million people worldwide between 2000 and 2015. The agencies are offering important information and effective interventions such as developing evidenced based guidelines, rapid diagnostic tests, indoor spraying and protecting pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Furthermore, responding to global health emergencies is another priority area. Global health intervention helps in responding to major outbreaks including Ebola, Zika, cholera, yellow fever and natural disasters among others. The Global Rapid Response Team (GRRT) was formed in 2015 and has so far responded to emergencies in 27 countries. According to Global Health Council, the outbreak of Ebola in the West African nations in 2014 was the worst global health problem of the time that attracted both personnel and financial assistance.
Ensuring universal health coverage should also be put into consideration, since it could help the world attain health objectives outlined in the Sustainable development Goals (SDGs). Approximately half of the globe’s population lacks health insurance, and out-of-pocket health expenses made approximately 100 million people extremely poor in 2010.
Most importantly, nations around the world should invest in training health workers, since they play a major role in guaranteeing global health. Training health professionals to boost their skills would help in prevention, proper diagnosis, treatment and management of chronic non-communicable illnesses, especially in developing countries.
There is no doubt that global health problems are threatening the world, especially the vulnerable and those in developing countries who lack health insurance and access to proper health care. Against this background, stakeholders should work towards strengthening existing health facilities and systems, capacity building by training health workers, allocating resources on the basis of need and disease burden, and empowering the community on the importance of health insurance.