Global Health

What Is Global Health?

“Global health is an area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide.” 1

Global health:

  • Emphasizes health issues, determinants, and solutions that go beyond national borders
  • Focuses on vulnerable populations worldwide
  • Uses the resources, knowledge, and experience of diverse societies to address health challenges
  • Is highly interdisciplinary within and beyond the health sciences
  • Requires global cooperation to solve problems
  • Combines population-based health promotion and disease prevention with individual-level care
  • Requires understanding of basic and applied research on disease and disability

Did you know?

  • 70,000: Average number of refugee arrivals in the United States per year2
  • 232 million: Number of international migrants worldwide in 20133
  • 40 million: Approximate number of foreign-born people currently living in the United States4

Save the Date

The next Global Health Workshop is scheduled for October 4-7, 2017.

Get Involved with Global Health

The AAFP offers a wide variety of information, tools, and resources on global health.

  • Global Health Resources

    Review an array of in-print and online resources and references on global health issues and topics.

The AAFP Center for Global Health Initiatives (CGHI)

Learn about the AAFP's ongoing commitment to global health and those who are leading this effort. About CGHI »


1. Koplan JP, Bond TC, Merson MH, et al. Towards a common definition of global health. Lancet. 2009;373(9679):1993-1995.

2. Population Facts No. 2013/2. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Available at: Published September, 2013. Accessed October 20, 2014.

3. Frequently Requested Statistics on Immigrants and Immigration in the United States. Migration Policy Institute. Available at: Published March 21, 2012. Accessed October 20, 2014.

4. Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2014 Report to the Congress. United States Department of State, United States Department of Homeland Security. United States Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: Accessed October 20, 2014.