Global Health: present trends

The first four articles of this number refer to the theme of “Global Health”, a thematic multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary discipline, involving the knowledge, teaching, research and practice, focusing on health issues and problems that go beyond national borders, as well as their determinants. It’s possible solutions require the intervention and agreements between various social actors, including countries and Governments, agencies and international public and private institutions. These are important academic reflections in a moment when graduate programs in Global Health are starting in our country.

In this sense, it is essential that the various actors involved in Global health initiatives discuss not only the advances, but also strategies to avoid setbacks in the area. The dossier presented below includes four articles and/or debates with criticism ranging from the absence of recognition of the political mold of health risk factors to the insertion of Brazil in the global discussion on Global health.

The article “ Salud global en las instituciones académicas latinoamericanas: hacia un desarrollo e identidad propia” by Giorgio Solimano and Leonel Valdivia, presents the main teaching and research Global Health programs in universities and institutes in Latin America and focuses on the creation of the Latin American Alliance of Global Health (the ALASAG), which constitutes a network of academic institutions with theme-oriented programs. The authors reinforce that the teaching and research of Global health programs in the region are guided by equity in the access of health, the consequences of economic globalization, and by the release and protection of international trade as opposed to the protection of human health and the environment.

“Global Health in times of globalization”, by Paulo Antonio Carvalho Fortes and Helena Ribeiro, presents definitions, concepts, principles, and practices of Global Health knowledge, based on its historical development and its contemporary context, marked by the phenomenon of globalization. This article shows the evolution of the concept of international health to Global health, discussing what are Global health problems in the 21st century, characterized by health problems accumulated, new issues and problems arising from changes of paradigms. The article also proposes a research agenda in Global Health for the present and the near future.

In “Peopling Global Health” the authors, João Biehl and Adriana Petryna, demonstrate the importance of a global vision of health care, including analyses of real situations, to understand the complexity of the establishment of health interventions. The argument that ethnographic evidence is essential for the implementation of global health actions reveals the fragility of current initiatives. The absence of the economic issue on the agenda of health actions, so well demonstrated through real examples, leads the authors to propose a number of priority areas for Global health education, from a critical point of view on the phenomenon of economic globalization.

In “Health and development in the BRICS countries” by Paulo Marchiori Buss, José Roberto Ferreira and Claudia Hoirisch, the proposal was to analyze the statements of Heads of State and of the Official Communiqué of the Ministers for health of the BRICS in relation to economic, social and environmental development of these countries. The authors understand that there is need for greater articulation of that group of countries and collective commitments to improve the health of their populations.

In short, the set of articles presented here proposes strategies for Global health development and emphasizes the importance of a more comprehensive approach in the definition of a political and economic agenda for Global health.

The remaining components of this number are articles dedicated to important and diverse themes: sustainable development; chronic non-communicable diseases; AIDS; basic sanitation policy; water surveillance; alternative medicine; abortion; rights of women; care of the elderly. Many of these articles are part of Global health agendas in the discussion about Sustainable Development goals after 2015 that will replace the Millennium goals of the United Nations.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    apr-jun 2014
Faculdade de Saúde Pública, Universidade de São Paulo. Associação Paulista de Saúde Pública. SP - Brazil