What is Global Health?


The health of Arkansans and the health of people around the world are more closely linked than ever before. This interconnectedness offers both opportunities and challenges. A disease outbreak in a distant country can threaten the health of Americans at home, just as a discovery made in a foreign country can lead to better treatment for diseases affecting Americans. Greater movement of people and of products – including foods, feed, drugs, and medical devices – can increase exposure to potential health risks originating outside the United States. But this mobility can also make life-saving care more readily available for all. Scientific advances in medicine, health care delivery and public health are increasingly built on international collaboration among leading researchers, from which all benefit regardless of nationality.

Recognizing the vital connection between the health and well-being of Americans and that of the world, the U.S. Government has had a long-standing and active engagement in global health efforts. To meet the needs of individuals, communities, and countries, a systematic approach to global health is required. U.S. global health priorities are articulated in the Global Health Strategy (GHS) for the period 2011 through 2015. This strategic approach reflects our recognition that public health, health care services, and health equity are best addressed across national boundaries and through collaborative international efforts. It must inform and be consistent with the agreements we reach with other nations through international institutions, and further U.S. priorities in international development, security, and diplomacy.