Global Epidemiological Surveillance

Mark W. Zacher

in Global Public Goods

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780195130522
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199867363 | DOI:
 Global Epidemiological Surveillance

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In a world that increasingly resembles a global village, a new context of global health interdependence is emerging. Control of infectious diseases can be considered a global public good, but can the same be said for noncommunicable diseases? This chapter argues that today noncommunicable diseases have a global dimension. The reason is that bad consumption habits travel through global marketing and media, and new threats have emerged from such global bads as ozone depletion and climate change. The authors reason that in the future global health will increasingly be provided by private parties rather than state‐run services – a development that will place greater stress on the poor. In response, the authors suggest a number of incremental steps to increase the effectiveness and fairness of national and international health policies. They envision the provision of global health as a multiactor process involving, besides governments, academics, private industry, NGOs, and the media. Sometimes the interactions between different groups of actors will be harmonious, but at other times they may be conflictual. Regarding international organizations, the authors see their role primarily as a catalytic one – providing intermediate global public goods, such as relevant information, or negotiating norms and standards. The authors emphasize the critical importance of development assistance aimed at enhancing national capacities and health performance in weaker countries. Similar recommendations could be made for international organizations facilitating the provision of other public goods.

Keywords: communicable diseases; global public goods; health interdependence; noncommunicable diseases; private health services; public–private partnerships

Chapter.  6996 words. 

Subjects: Public Economics

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