Francesco Mazzagatti writes about the state of healthcare

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As our world moves toward a more global society, global health issues are an issue that our world leaders must address. We are now moving toward a more global economy. There have also been advances in transportation that make global travel easier, and there are healthcare issues that affect people around the globe. We have seen this first hand with the COVID-19 pandemic, which quickly traversed the globe and took millions of lives as it spread.

Focusing on global health is not an issue that must solely be managed by policy makers in the industrialized world. Both practicing physicians and medical school instructors must make global health a part of the educational process and medical practices.

Global health is an issue that must be clearly defined. Then, physicians and policy makers must then have a suitable understanding of what global health really is.

Global health can be defined as the understanding of health care at an international and interdisciplinary level. Global health includes the study, research, and practice of medicine with a focus on improving health and health care equity for populations worldwide.

The WHO (World Health Organization) has been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic; it is one of the most prominent agencies working to promote global health and work towards advancing the issue. The leaders at the WHO are working with researchers and leaders in a variety of fields are spearheading initiatives that they hope will advance global health.

One scholar, Dr. Calum Macpherson, the director of research at St. George’s University’s School of Medicine, says that global health is an issue that encompasses human, animal, and ecosystem health all at one time.

There are at least six prominent global health issues that should be addressed; in addition, every policy maker should be aware of these issues so that global health improves.

First, and the issue at present the forefront of global health, is the possibility of pandemics. Pandemics are defined as global disease outbreaks. Of course, COVID is the first pandemic that comes to mind, but there are other possible outbreaks that can be just as frightening. Influenza outbreaks as well as other viral threats reflect the general public’s vulnerability to widespread diseases. Some of these pandemics actually start in animals.

It’s interesting to note that, even with the global push for COVID-19 vaccinations, vaccinations aren’t the most effective way to prevent pandemics. It is critical to address pandemic causes at the source and to address health education as well as responsible agricultural practices.

Physicians and researchers together should also address global risk mitigation measures in regards to a pandemic; they must do so to both prevent and help even after a pandemic occurs.

The second most important part of global healthcare has to do with environmental factors. These include climate change and air pollution. One major way to address the way global health is affected by environmental factors is to focus on sanitation and water sources.

The environment can affect global health in a multitude of ways. First, devastating storms and flooding can wreak havoc on the health of people in areas with proper sanitation. Droughts and air pollution can also be devastating to the health of people around the globe.

Of course, this is why when storms and flooding take place, providing bottled water and improving sanitation technology is always important. However, the root causes of these storms and other environmental factors must also be addressed and rectified in order to promote better global health.

Access to health care and the disparities among economic classes also affects global health. This is an issue that is seen in both countries with fairly strong economies as well as countries dealing with overwhelming poverty. Global health professionals must explore opportunities to lift up underrepresented communities where public health is concerned. Policies must be made in order to increase access to health care and remove barriers for improved healthcare.

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