Global Health and Health Equity

Global Health sees the entire human population as one global community. It focuses on issues that directly or indirectly affect health but that can transcend national boundaries.

The practice of global health:

  • Embraces both prevention of ill health in populations and the clinical care of individuals
  • Has health equity among nations and for all people as a major objective
  • Is highly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary, within and beyond health sciences
  • Often requires global cooperation to develop and implement solutions

Global health emphasizes the scope of problems, not their location. A global health perspective includes a local perspective. The factors that promote health are common to all populations, but they play out differently in different places. International Health shares many of these attributes, but differs from Global Health in that it focuses on health issues of countries other than our own, and seeks to help people of 'other' nations.

"If global health leans towards commonalities, international health leans towards differences"
Consortium of Universities for Global Health Executive Committee

The primary goal of the Global Health and Health Equity program is to integrate global health and health equity in the undergraduate medical and the graduate programs in the Faculty of Medicine. Learners are expected to develop a deep understanding of social, environmental and cultural inequities in health in local and global contexts; understand and promote equity, justice and access to health care for vulnerable, marginalized, and historically excluded populations; develop respect for cultural differences; develop respectful and equitable partnerships rooted in decolonization and anti-racism; understand and advocate for global health issues at the policy level; and appreciate the challenges faced by resource-poor countries and communities.  The Global Health Office also works closely with the Indigenous Health Initiative, the second program within the Social Accountability Office of the Faculty of Medicine.