‘A patient in a remote village in southwestern Angola has died of a strange disease whose symptoms have been likened to those of the deadly viral infection; Ebola.’ This may be the news on one of the local TV channels that could make the CEO of a major electronics company in New York City panic. Equally, a peasant in far-flung tribal areas of the vast provinces of Afghanistan has reason to worry. Why should it happen in this manner, even when they are thousands of miles away? Indeed, the saying that the world has become a global village is so true in this context, given that a disease breaking out in a far-away country could attack in the household the next minute. It is due to this that the issue of global health should be of concern to everyone; from governments to NGOs and other major players in the corporate world.
It can be agreed that all people in the world yearn to live longer. Countries have taken initiatives to increase life expectancy and improve the quality of life. Global health campaigns have been focusing mainly on communicable diseases and those that affect children. The result of this has been largely positive, significantly pushing up the average life expectancy (United Nations Environment Programme, 2010). Sadly, this skewed emphasis has led to a situation where much of the population ignores the even more dangerous killer diseases in the non-communicable category. Children are saved at a tender age, but later in life as young or middle-age adults succumb to problems brought about by poor lifestyles, often characterized by poor eating habits (Rossen, 2012). Risk factors like addiction to drugs, alcoholism, obesity, climate change, and environmental hazards are all issues of concern to everyone.
Scientific inventions and medical breakthroughs have all significantly boosted global health in terms of life longevity and quality. However, there is greater need to pay attention to wider measures like clean water and sanitation (Skolnik, 2012). Sensitization should be done on the need to immunize their children against preventable diseases. General public awareness is crucial in this regard since people will be enlightened on the risks of their actions and omissions. Global health success cannot be achieved unless all stakeholders are involved. Governments may invest enormous resources in the health sector but until everyone is involved, much may not be achieved. Social scientists, legal officers, business people, technology experts, administration officials, law enforcers, and health officials all need to understand their contribution towards achieving success in this respect (Skolnik, 2012).
Irrespective of socio-economic, cultural or religious belonging, all should understand diseases do not discriminate. With the increased rate and ease of mobility around the world, no place can be said to be safe. It is for this reason that people should appreciate that responsibility, both individual and collective, is the only sure way to succeed as far as global health is concerned.
More should be invested in research and training. Besides that, authorities everywhere should seek to adopt and implement policies that have succeeded elsewhere. Let all learn to take preventive measures, as opposed to waiting till the problem strikes. Such have proved to be less costly. As the saying goes,’ prevention is better than cure.’
Rossen, L. M., & Rossen, E. A. (2012). Obesity 101. New York: Springer Pub. Co.
Skolnik, R. L., & Skolnik, R. L. (2012). Global health 101. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.
United Nations Environment Programme., UNICEF., & World Health Organization. (2010). Children in the new millennium: Environmental impact on health. Nairobi: United Nations Environment Programme.