IDSB04H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Global Public Good, Global Health, Disease Surveillance

International Development Studies
Course Code
Anne- Emanuelle Birn

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IDSB04 Tharsini Sivananthajothy
Chapter One - Introduction September 10, 2012
Key Definitions
- WHO’s definition of Health: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being
and note merely the absence of disease or infirmity
o This definition leaves out the dimension of spiritual well-being
o Most organization frame international health in terms of disease control
o Even those that support health systems prioritize disease elimination as ultimate purpose
and disease control activities are prioritized
o Good health and poor health experience at a personal level but death and illness are
social phenomena
Social context of people affects who becomes sick and dies prematurely (living
conditions, working conditions)
- Emerging consensus addressing the social determinants of disease is essential to ensuring the
highest attainable state of health and well-being
o Adequate housing, access to clean water, sanitation, nutrition, education, broach social
policies and protections, safe working conditions, and living wages
o Underlying these factors are political and economic forces that shape the distribution of
power and resources and influence the extent of inequality and the existence and or
nature of social security systems in particular societies and globally
- Public health was a concept coined in the early 19th century to distinguish government efforts for
the preservation and protection of health from private actions
o Public health defined as : the science and art of prevention disease, prolonging life and
promoting physical health and efficiency through organized community efforts for the
sanitation of the environment, the control of community infections, the education of the
individual in principles of personal hygiene, the organization of medical and nursing
service for the early diagnosis and preventative treatment of disease and the
development of the social machinery which will ensure to every individual in the
community a standard of living adequate for the maintenance of health Winslow
o Definition of public health is still contested
- Social medicine was developed in the 19th century as a form of integration political action and
health efforts
- Population health was a concept introduced in 1989 which proposes that individual determinants
of health do not act in isolation but rather in a complex fashion
o Unemployment can lead to social isolation, poverty, and homelessness profound effects
on health
- Collective health was developed in 1970s in Brazil and Latin America to emphasize role and
agency of ordinary people and social movements in shaping health outcomes
o Emphasize the political dimensions and determinants of health, and challenge the
exclusive role of and reliance on the public sector especially where governments are
repressive, unrepresentative or unresponsive to the collective needs of the population
International Health
- term international health came in to use in the 20th century after sovereign countries began to
recognize value of intergovernmental cooperation and established permanent bodies to address
health issues across national borders
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