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Books, Journals, New Media
April 6, 2005

Global Public Health

Author Affiliations

Books, Journals, New Media Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA; Journal Review Editor: Brenda L. Seago, MLS, MA, Medical College of Virginia Campus, Virginia Commonwealth University.

JAMA. 2005;293(13):1671-1676. doi:10.1001/jama.293.13.1674-a

If in December 2004 an early warning system had been in place among Asian nations, the disaster caused by the Indian Ocean tsunami might have been much smaller. The ideal warning system would have been available to everyone in Asia, and its use by one nation would not have limited its use by others. The classic example of a public good is a lighthouse; the tsunami warning system, giving light to many nations, is close to being a global public good. As it would have prevented death and suffering, it might have qualified as a global public good for health.

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