Global health diplomacy: An interdisciplinary concept linking health and international relations.
“Global health diplomacy” refers to both a system of organization and to communicate and negotiate the process that shape the global policy environment in the sphere of health and its determinants. With the increasing crisis and challenges to human security, challenging the basic nature of life of people, governments and international institutions have started seeking methods to redefine international politics and foreign policy making. However, the challenges have been multifaceted, which has scarred every sphere of human life.
Global health diplomacy (GHD) is relatively a very new field that has yet to be clearly defined and developed though there are various definitions given by different experts from foreign policy, global health, diplomacy, international relations, governance and law. With the intensification of globalization and increasing gaps between countries, new and reemerging health threats such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, influenza, severe acute respiratory syndrome,
Ebola, and Zika and a gradual rethinking on security concepts framed a new political context.
The health problems are also becoming diverse ranging from abandoned tropical diseases, infectious diseases, sale of unsafe, counterfeit drugs to brain drain crisis. Historically in the past, nations looking after their own health was sufficient when medicines were limited and death was certain for most diseases, but with changing tide of research advancements, health transcends national boundaries and this is the opportune moment to further diplomatic foreign policy goals built on foundations of global public health. This would be prudent to suggest that countries need to now create Health Attaché to their diplomatic staff in recognition of the growing risks, complexities of global health consequences and as part of a visionary strategic process to sustain shrewd diplomacy.
There is a growing realization that economic and political capital stands inadequate to meet rising disease burden and growing inequity which will force tough diplomacy to prioritize public and private sector commitment to meet resources to address rising challenges