With World Health Day being celebrated today (7th April), significant opportunities to help bring lasting peace to countries previously torn by civil war - through re-building and improving their local health systems - are largely being missed by the world’s major aid donors, according to important new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
Health is increasingly an international matter, with foreign policy and security implications. But issues are too often portrayed only as threats, says Professor Colin McInnes, of the Centre for Health and International Relations, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, who led a joint study with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
He points to continuing concerns in the UK, for instance, about the country’s vulnerability to threats such as ‘Bird flu’, SARS and bio-terrorism. Professor McInnes said: “The HIV/Aids pandemic, famine and the health effects of wars and natural disasters kill millions and are the targets for significant amounts of international aid and charitable giving.
Alexandra Saxon | alfa
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