How might global health master deadly sins and strive for greater virtues?

Panter-Brick, Catherine ; Eggerman, Mark ; Tomlinson, Mark (2014-03-28)

CITATION: Panter-Brick, C., Eggerman, M. & Tomlinson, M. 2014. How might global health master deadly sins and strive for greater virtues? Global Health Action, 7: 23411, doi:10.3402/gha.v7.23411.

The original publication is available at http://www.globalhealthaction.net/index.php/gha/index

Article

In the spirit of critical reflection, we examine how the field of global health might surmount current challenges and prioritize its ethical mandate, namely to achieve, for all people, equity in health. We use the parlance of mastering deadly sins and striving for greater virtues in an effort to review what is needed to transform global health action. Global health falls prey to four main temptations: coveting silo gains, lusting for technological solutions, leaving broad promises largely unfulfilled, and boasting of narrow successes. This necessitates a change of heart: to keep faith with the promise it made, global health requires a realignment of core values and a sharper focus on the primacy of relationships with the communities it serves. Based on the literature to date, we highlight six steps to re-orienting global health action. Articulating a coherent global health agenda will come from principled action, enacted through courage and prudence in decision-making to foster peoplecentered systems of care over the entire lifespan.

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