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Chapter 1

chapter 1 notes

International Development Studies
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Chapter 1: Introduction Chapter
Key Definitions
According to the WHO “Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being
and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” (3)
oInternational health actors frame international health in terms of disease control
oThere is growing consensus on the need to address social determinants of health
essential for good health and well being. These include “ adequate housing, access to
clean water, sanitation, nutrition, education, broad social policies and protections, safe
working conditions and living wages” 94)
C. –E. A. Winslow (a public health leader) described public health as “the science and art of
preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting physical health and efficiency through
organized community efforts..” (4). There have been several other conceptions of the field of
public health including:
oSocial medicine – refers to integration of political action and health efforts developed in
the 19th century
oPopulation health – emphasizes on how various determinants of health interact
affecting health (e.g. “ unemployment can lead to social isolation, poverty, and
homelessness, with profound effects on health” (5)) – developed by the Canadian
Insitute for Advanced Research
oCollective health – emphasizes on people exercising agency thus shaping health
outcomes, proponents of this view “challenge the exclusive role of, and reliance on, the
public sector”
International Health
oTerm came into use in the 20th century and differs from tropical medicine (“which
addressed the health problems in Europe’s colonies…and other ‘tropical’ settings” (5))
oIt was born from interest among countries to address transnational health concerns – in
particular it was originated out of fear of the adverse affect ill health had on worker
productivity and social unrest
o“international health principally covered the problems of health in underdeveloped
countries and the efforts by industrialized countries and international agencies to address
these problems” (6) – influenced by Cold War rivalries and dominance of industrialized
powers over developing countries
Global Health