Global Public Health
Why Global Health Matters
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
- New diseases are emerging at an unprecedented rate, often with the ability to cross borders rapidly and spread.
- 38 new diseases have appeared since 1978 including HIV, Ebola Haemorrhagic fever, Marburg fever and SARS.
- Centuries-old threats, such as pandemic influenza, malaria and tuberculosis, continue to pose a threat to health through a combination of mutation, rising resistance to antimicrobial medicines and weak health systems.
- Capacity building is needed within the public health and medical infrastructure of all countries.
Global Health Challenges
- One billion people lack access to clean drinking water.
- Nearly one third of the world's population lack modern sanitation.
- 2.2 million people - mostly infants and children - die each year from diarrheal disease.
- Every 30 seconds, a child in Africa dies from malaria. Most of them were not even five years old.
We Are All Connected
Health is the foundation for civil and political stability, for social and cultural growth, and for economic sustainability. Yet despite tremendous medical advances the last few decades, large portions of the world are losing ground. Millions of people most in need still have no access to public health resources and vital medical care leading to rising incidences of diseases like HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. These diseases not only affect these individuals but create increasing poverty and political instability with the associated worldwide political, cultural, and economic consequences. The Global Health Initiative at the University of Utah is working to reverse these trends for thousands of people in rural villages of Africa, China, and India.
Further, we are addressing Health and in many cases, Community challenges in Armenia, Kenya, Peru, Thailand and Uganda. In return, US doctors, medical students, faculty and volunteers are benefitting from exceptional, unique opportunities to learn from colleagues across the globe, experience the richness of other cultures, and expand their understanding of global challenges and possibilities.
Bringing the Best Back to Utah
By participating in Global Public Health programs, Utah students and faculty are expanding their world-view and learning new ways of delivering health services. The knowledge, understanding and respect gained from working alongside people of different traditions and beliefs are transforming values in both cultures.