A new vanguard to address global health

The fight against disease in the developing world has often been waged not by public health professionals, but by economists, politicians, and even military personnel, said Roger I. Glass, M.P.H., M.D., Ph.D., director of the Fogarty International Center at the National Institutes of Health, during a talk at the medical school in April. Glass spoke at the spring symposium of the Wilbur Downs International Health Travel Fellowship Program.

“It was Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright saying the health of Africa was a security issue,” Glass said, that launched the President’s Emergency Plan for aids Relief (PEPFAR). “Global health has changed in the last 10 years,” he said, noting the emergence, in addition to PEPFAR, of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, organizations that also address health issues in the developing world. “Global health in the 20th century was schools of public health and departments of international health at medical schools. In the 21st century global health is more than that. It is engineering. It’s business and organization of delivery of care. It has to do with international ethics and law. It has to do with economics.”

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