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Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública

On-line version ISSN 1680-5348
Print version ISSN 1020-4989


FRANCO-GIRALDO, Álvaro  and  ALVAREZ-DARDET, Carlos. Global public health: international health is tested to its limits by the human influenza A epidemic. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 2009, vol.25, n.6, pp.540-547. ISSN 1680-5348.

This article comes from the intense international pressure that follows a near-catastrophy, such as the human influenza A H1N1 epidemic, and the limited resources for confronting such events. The analysis covers prevailing 20th century trends in the international public health arena and the change-induced challenges brought on by globalization, the transition set in motion by what has been deemed the "new" international public health and an ever-increasing focus on global health, in the context of an international scenario of shifting risks and opportunities and a growing number of multinational players. Global public health is defined as a public right, based on a new appreciation of the public, a new paradigm centered on human rights, and altruistic philosophy, politics, and ethics that undergird the changes in international public health on at least three fronts: redefining its theoretical foundation, improving world health, and renewing the international public health system, all of which is the byproduct of a new form of governance. A new world health system, directed by new global public institutions, would aim to make public health a global public right and face a variety of staggering challenges, such as working on public policy management on a global scale, renewing and democratizing the current global governing structure, and conquering the limits and weaknesses witnessed by international health.

Keywords : public health; world health; health policy; principle-based ethics.

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