The term globalization refers to people, companies, and governments interacting around the world. As our planet gets smaller, thanks to international travel and commerce, it is more important than ever to think about health in a global context. While technological advancements have made it easier to move towards a healthier and cleaner future, there are still challenges when it comes to global healthcare. The idea behind grassroots health initiatives is to overcome these obstacles.
Our population is growing at a rapid pace, so when natural disasters occur, more people are being affected. Nowadays, U.S. health can easily be affected by public health threats happening across the globe. Recent examples include the Ebola Virus outbreak, the SARS epidemic and the spread of novel H1N1 influenza. Improving global health will improve local health. It will also foster political stability, diplomacy, and economic growth between nations.
Refugees and other migrants face challenges when it comes to healthcare not only because of differences in language and culture but also because they are displaced visitors in a foreign land. Education about HIV is still limited around the world, and global healthcare is struggling to keep up with the millions of people affected by infections and illness each year. More than 80% of heart disease, stroke, and cancer victims live in low- or middle-income countries.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online resources to help educate the public about global healthcare. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has a calendar on their website that shares world health days around the globe, which is their way of increasing awareness about certain diseases. The Global Health Network is a collection of grassroots global health awareness websites. It has been around since 2011 and is accessed by researchers, nurses, technicians, and scientists working in low and middle-income countries. Through this resource, health professionals have been able to share knowledge and educate others about global health.
Child Family Health International (CFHI) is a global, privately-owned family of committed professionals and students working at the grassroots level to educate health science students on global health education. CFHI also supports local health projects in its area and collaborates with partners to provide sustainable resources and training through community initiatives, local clinics, salvaging medical supplies and global health education programs.
Grassroots Global Justice (GGJ) is a coalition of US-based groups looking to empower working-class and poor people, as well as communities of color. They view themselves an international movement for global justice. GGJ focuses on long-term relationship building, political alignment, and transformational leadership. Following Dr. Martin Luther King’s philosophy of the Triple Evils of Poverty, Racism, and Militarism, they follow a holistic approach to building grassroots global justice.