Author Affiliations: Ms Flanagin is Managing Senior Editor and Dr Winker is Deputy Editor, JAMA.
Global health is a challenge to define, even more to improve. But just
as a global village has no boundaries, and "all problems . . . become so intimate
as to be one's own,"1 global health is everyone's
concern and problem to address.
The Institute of Medicine defines global health as "health problems,
issues, and concerns that transcend national boundaries, may be influenced
by circumstances or experiences in other countries, and are best addressed
by cooperative actions and solutions."2 This
broad definition poses seemingly insurmountable obstacles to measuring and
improving health. Trying to narrow this definition to include measurable goals
and targets is not a simple task, and addressing the problems at a local level
while maintaining a global perspective is an even greater challenge.
Flanagin A, Winker MA. Global Health—Targeting Problems and Achieving SolutionsA Call for Papers. JAMA. 2003;290(10):1382-1384. doi:10.1001/jama.290.10.1382