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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Linda C. Baumann, PhD, RN, CS, FAAN (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Description: This compendium of essays, written by international health experts who represent an array of organizations and schools of public health, offers insights into topics selected as the most important issues facing the world's population.
Purpose: Chapters explore the present and future of global health and highlight the needs of developing countries. Some are excellent reviews and others seem to superficially cover complex topics.
Audience: This is an excellent overview for a graduate course on international health. The editors offer insights from experts on future needs in areas of research, health promotion, disease prevention, and financing healthcare.
Features: This book is divided into three parts. Part one reviews the population health status of eleven countries. Part two contains 29 chapters on topics relevant to global health—from chronic disease and tobacco control to terrorism and the relationship between oceans and human health. Chapters are written by recognized and accomplished experts from organizations such as the World Health Organization, Kellogg Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, and the American Public Health Association. The major weakness of the book is the inconsistency between chapters in the depth and scope of the topic covered.
Assessment: I am unaware of similar books in the field. I find some chapters disappointing — too general and too brief an overview of a complex topic to be of much value. I liked the organization of the book, with Part one containing a geographic perspective on global health status, Part two setting the specific agenda of topics for the future, and Part three containing descriptions of successful demonstrations of new approaches and new organizational and leadership models that will be needed. The book was generally convincing in its attempt to define the critical global health issues of the future.