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September 10, 2003

Global Health—Targeting Problems and Achieving Solutions: A Call for Papers

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Ms Flanagin is Managing Senior Editor and Dr Winker is Deputy Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2003;290(10):1382-1384. doi:10.1001/jama.290.10.1382

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.