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Is global health just a tool of foreign policy?

Is global health principally intended to improve population health or to be a diplomatic tool for countries to exert their ‘soft power’ globally? The securitization of some infectious diseases has succeeded in drawing attention and resources to serious cross-border threats to global health, in particular resources to control the spread of infectious diseases and the development of treatments and vaccines. However, the security framing of health issues risks distorting priorities and moving resources and attention away from other more pressing health needs.

It may also facilitate an expanded role of the military that risks undermining the work of mainstream health actors, and blurring the lines with humanitarian relief in emergency settings. In this Global Health Lab join us to discuss the securitization of global health to ask is it just a tool of foreign policy?

Follow the debate on Twitter: #GHLab

All Welcome.

The Centre for Global Chronic Conditions and The Lancet have teamed up to present Global Health Labs, a series of focussed discussions on key global health challenges facing the international community today. Global Health Labs aim to provide a forum for lively debate and to exchange ideas to push forward both research and policy agendas. They are co-organized by Bayard Roberts and Erica Richardson and chaired by Martin McKee and Richard Horton (The Lancet).


Free and open to all with no ticket required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.



Contact: Erica Richardson