As the world becomes increasingly globalized and involves extensive trade and travel, global health issues have become of greater importance. Infectious diseases are common, and the World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized this. The number of newly emerging diseases since the 1970s has reached unprecedented levels. While some health issues may not be immediately visible, they can have a profound effect on people’s lives. This article will highlight six global health issues that are important to the U.S., and what we can do to address them.
Mental illness is closely connected to social problems, and recent mass shootings have highlighted the need for mental health services. A study by the World Economic Forum revealed that depression was the leading cause of disability in 2018 and is linked to other medical conditions. Many pregnant women and young adults suffer from depression, while one in nine children has autism. In addition, many people may experience difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection or experience low sexual desire. But while these issues may be embarrassing to discuss, they affect people’s daily lives and their ability to function in relationships.
Identifying key health issues requires the input of a variety of stakeholders. Collaboration across industries is essential. For instance, breakthrough medical treatments require input from experts with different specializations. To teach citizens how to avoid excessive alcohol consumption, for example, the input of health educators, lawmakers, and medical practitioners is needed. In addition to identifying key health issues, experts must define these issues. Identifying and defining them are key to preventing outbreaks and spreading new treatments.
Despite significant advancements in modern technology, many countries still struggle with access to quality healthcare. As a result, many frontline health workers have to deal with the consequences of climate change in clinics. Increasing air pollution and drought are contributing to a surge in infectious diseases, and the rise of climate change is causing many people to flee their homes. It is also important to address the challenges of human displacement caused by catastrophic weather. The lack of basic infrastructure is a major challenge, and millions of people face hardship in getting adequate healthcare.
Governmental structure fragments policy development. This is discussed further in the chapter on governmental structure. In the U.S., there are state and national governments, and delegated powers to local jurisdictions. In many cases, health-related responsibilities are split among several government agencies. This fragmentation leads to inconsistent policy development. By design, policymakers often focus on their own interests over the needs of people in underrepresented communities. But the result is often more harmful than the intended solution.
The CDC has taken on a number of pressing health issues. For instance, people with disabilities tend to be overweight, and this can have devastating health consequences. People with disabilities report pain that interferes with their daily activities. This pain can be short-term or long-term. A common problem with these individuals is the onset of pressure ulcers, also known as bed sores or decubitus ulcers. These ulcers form on the elbow, heel, hip, or back due to constant pressure.