Research and innovate to improve the health and well-being of people and populations
The concept of global health prioritizes better health and equity for all populations across the world. To work toward global health, we must consider an entire set of determinants like heredity, genetics, lifestyle, nutrition, socioeconomic conditions, and the environment to better understand their cumulative and synergistic effects. We need both basic and applied research to gain a fuller understanding of human biological mechanisms and those associated with various diseases by exploring specific aspects of individual and community health, particularly personal parameters. We need an informed analysis of all these determinants and their interactions to have a lasting impact on the health of people and populations.
Many questions remain. To better understand human health parameters and the range of pathologies, from cancer to infectious and cardiometabolic diseases, we must innovate to find solutions and new approaches to both treatment and prevention. To maximize benefits for people and populations, we must also optimize health system management to ensure equitable access to health care for all, particularly as the population ages. We must also better understand how the living environment affects a person’s well-being and ability to adapt and maintain a healthy lifestyle, thereby affecting population health as a whole. More generally, we should study how external factors such as climate change drive the emergence of new infectious agents or environmental contaminants so we can protect and improve population health.
Governments, organizations, and universities must be able to fully exploit new and existing health data to offer a concrete response to these major challenges. Facilitating access to and pooling this data will foster discovery and innovation.
Links to the UN Sustainable Development Goals
- End poverty in all its forms everywhere (1)
- End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture (2)
- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages (3)
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls (5)
- Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all (6)
- Reduce inequality within and among countries (10)
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts (13)