Types of Global Health Issues

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  • 0:01 Defining Global Health…
  • 1:11 Causes of Global…
  • 3:00 Types of Global Health…
  • 4:49 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jason Nowaczyk

Jason has a masters of education in educational psychology and a BA in history and a BA in philosophy. He's taught high school and middle school

The following lesson will define what a global health issue is and discuss the cause for their spreading, as well as provide examples of major global health issues. A short quiz will follow the lesson.

Defining Global Health Concerns

All of us know what it's like to be sick. Some of us may even remember being a little relieved that we got to miss school if we were sick when we were young. However, as we got older, we probably realized that there's nothing fun about being sick. In fact, when we were young and got to stay home when we were sick, the reason was just as much for us as it was for our classmates that were healthy. If we went to school while we were sick, we could have possibly spread our illness to others, and then they could have gotten sick as well. If this trend continued, it would create some major problems!

While we understand that catching a cold or battling the flu is one of those pains of life, there are some other more serious types of infectious diseases that affect a much wider array of people. In fact, there are some health issues that are so serious that they affect groups of people worldwide. Globally, infectious diseases remain the leading killers of human beings. More than a quarter of all deaths today are linked to infectious diseases. We call those health issues that transcend national boundaries and governments, and therefore require collaborative research among nations for their cure, global health concerns.

Causes of Global Health Concerns

Infectious diseases are intertwined with numerous global issues and are inseparable from other political, economic, and cultural components. The average child growing up in the United States, most likely very similar to yourself, is able to remain relatively healthy because of things like vaccinations, easy access to medicine, and public services that are committed to keeping us healthy, such as doctors and hospitals.

Imagine, however, if you were the same child growing up in the developing world, which includes places that are of low socioeconomic status. Chances are you wouldn't have the same types of resources readily available to help you out if you were to get sick. This is unfortunately the fear that many people around the world are faced with every day.

The risk for global health concerns spreading is increased because of factors such as:

  • Poor economies
  • Ethnic conflicts
  • Environmental degradation
  • Population growth and urbanization
  • International trade

Countries with poor economies often don't have the money and resources for adequate health care and health research to combat a serious health issue. Ethnic conflicts contribute to the collapse of public services that may have been normally available to help treat health concerns. Fighting also may create large refugee populations, which encourages overcrowding and unsanitary conditions that make diseases ripe for spreading.

Environmental degradation contributes to global warming and flooding, which allows germs to live longer or creates environments where diseases can breed. Also, the rise of the global population and interaction with one another through urbanization and trade has given people reason to travel farther and come into close and consistent contact with one another, which increases the likelihood that a global health concern will occur.

Types of Global Health Concerns

When we get sick with the cold or flu, we are always told it's best to stay home from work or school. This is not only so that we can get healthy, but it's also important to ensure that we don't get anyone else sick. Let's say that when you were young and your mom said she didn't believe that you were sick with the flu because you've been known to try that excuse before. So instead, she forces you to go to class while you feel miserable.

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