Global Health and the World Health Mapper

Today, half the world’s population cannot access essential health services. Millions of women give birth without help from a skilled attendant; millions of children miss out on vaccinations against killer diseases, and millions suffer and die because they can’t get treatment for HIV, TB, and malaria. In 2019, this is simply unacceptable.

Statement by WHO Director-General on World Health Day 2019

HealthLandscape has developed the World Health Mapper as part of the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) Center for Global Health Initiatives (CGHI)  The CGHI aims to support AAFP members’ professional efforts to be globally engaged, and promote family medicine and population-based, patient-centered, primary health care on a global scale.

The World Health Mapper includes international health measures of Key Health Indicators, Healthcare Spending, Workforce, Child Health, and the distribution of Global Family Medicine.  The Mapper draws data primarily from the World Bank, as well as detailed data on the reach of Global Family Medicine training culled from AAFP data stores.

The World Health Mapper is a powerful tool for visualizing and understanding global health
data, including a variety of country-level health indicators that can be displayed using maps, tables, bar charts, trend graphs, as well as the ability to examine relationships between two indicators with side- by-side comparison maps.

I had a great time introducing the World Health Mapper at the 2019 AAFP Global Health Summit held October 9-12 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Our presentation was well attended and participants offered suggestions on additions to the tool, including not only more statistics, but also substantive information about health and social conditions “on the ground” in each country. Students, residents, and others can use these data when considering international training and residency programs. I appreciate their feedback and we’re reviewing their suggestions for inclusion in an update to the World Health Mapper.

This was the first Global Health Summit I had attended, and I was really blown away by the excitement and passion attendees and presenters had for their work.  I saw two days of thought provoking presentations, but what stuck out in my mind was a Friday morning session “Practicing Global Health in Your Own Backyard”, presented by Leopoldine Matialeu and Regina Wang from the University of California, San Diego.  They demonstrated how, with a range of immigrants, asylum seekers, or refugees already living in the US, it is possible to design and implement a residency curriculum that addresses patients from different backgrounds and cultures, without the need to traveling to other countries.  This was very exciting and we’re brainstorming at HealthLandscape about how we can use HealthLandscape tools to support similar efforts around the U.S.

I admit, it was also very cool that (serendipitously?) the Global Health Summit overlapped somewhat with an international balloon festival being held in Albuquerque that same week.  I didn’t get a chance to go over to the festival, but the wind was kind enough to send some of the balloons over our way early one morning.  Beautiful!

Mark Carrozza

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