Skip to main content
Back to Results
Cover image of A History of Global Health

A History of Global Health

Interventions into the Lives of Other Peoples

Randall M. Packard

Publication Date
Binding Type

A sweeping history explores why people living in resource-poor areas lack access to basic health care after billions of dollars have been invested in international-health assistance.

Over the past century, hundreds of billions of dollars have been invested in programs aimed at improving health on a global scale. Given the enormous scale and complexity of these lifesaving operations, why do millions of people in low-income countries continue to live without access to basic health services, sanitation, or clean water? And why are deadly diseases like Ebola able to spread so quickly among...

A sweeping history explores why people living in resource-poor areas lack access to basic health care after billions of dollars have been invested in international-health assistance.

Over the past century, hundreds of billions of dollars have been invested in programs aimed at improving health on a global scale. Given the enormous scale and complexity of these lifesaving operations, why do millions of people in low-income countries continue to live without access to basic health services, sanitation, or clean water? And why are deadly diseases like Ebola able to spread so quickly among populations?

In A History of Global Health, Randall M. Packard argues that global-health initiatives have saved millions of lives but have had limited impact on the overall health of people living in underdeveloped areas, where health-care workers are poorly paid, infrastructure and basic supplies such as disposable gloves, syringes, and bandages are lacking, and little effort has been made to address the underlying social and economic determinants of ill health. Global-health campaigns have relied on the application of biomedical technologies—vaccines, insecticide-treated nets, vitamin A capsules—to attack specific health problems but have failed to invest in building lasting infrastructure for managing the ongoing health problems of local populations.

Designed to be read and taught, the book offers a critical historical view, providing historians, policy makers, researchers, program managers, and students with an essential new perspective on the formation and implementation of global-health policies and practices.

Reviews

Reviews

Frequent epidemics of yellow fever, the first disease threatening to destroy continents, and the more recent scourges of HIV/AIDS, SARS, and Ebola show Packard’s scope in enlightening readers who are rarely likely to be so captivated by a university publication. This is a powerful book demanding substantial time and attention.

A History of Global Health gives us an unrivalled view from within the belly of the beast, revealing the physiology and pathologies of the organism.

Informative and entertaining... Old-timers will enjoy a romp through the eras that marked their careers, and those starting out will learn how we got to where we are and have a gauntlet thrown down on where we ought to go.

A History of Global Health is an excellent addition to the medical historiography. Its strengths lie in its ambitious scope, meticulous research, and convincing arguments. Compellingly written, Packard sets out a critical history of global health initiatives that both historians and global health policy-makers not only should, but need, to read. Packard’s book will no doubt remain required reading for some decades to come.

Meanwhile, Packard’s exceptional History of Global Health comes very close to this ideal. It is by far the best clear and profound panorama of global health to date. It will be an inspiration and a tool for policy makers, public health scholars, and historians of medicine.

See All Reviews
About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
432
ISBN
9781421420332
Illustration Description
15 halftones
Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
List of Illustrations and Tables
Introduction
Part One
1. Colonial Training Grounds
2. From Colonial to International Health
Part Two
3. The League of Nations Health Organization
4

List of Abbreviations
List of Illustrations and Tables
Introduction
Part One
1. Colonial Training Grounds
2. From Colonial to International Health
Part Two
3. The League of Nations Health Organization
4. Internationalizing Rural Hygiene and Nutrition
Part Three
5. Planning for a Postwar World
6. A Narrowing Vision
Part Four
7. Uncertain Beginnings
8. The Good and the Bad Campaigns
Part Five
9. The Birth of the Population Crisis
10. Accelerating International Family-Planning Programs
11. Rethinking Family Planning
Part Six
12. Rethinking Health 2.0
13. Challenges to Primary Health Care
Part Seven
14. AIDS and the Birth of Global Health
15. The Global Fund, PEPFAR, and the Transformation of Global Health
16. Medicalizing Global Health
Conclusion
Acknowledgments
Notes
Index

Author Bio
Featured Contributor

Randall M. Packard, Ph.D.

Randall M. Packard is the William H. Welch Professor and director of the Institute of the History of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of White Plague, Black Labor: Tuberculosis and the Political Economy of Health and Disease in South Africa, A History of Global Health: Interventions into the Lives of Other Peoples, and coeditor of Emerging Illnesses and Society: Negotiating...