Book Launch: Addressing Inequities in Global Public Health in a Context of Pandemic

April 20, 2023

Dr. Giorgio Solimano, professor at the Universidad de Chile's School of Public Health who was an associate professor at Columbia's Institute of Human Nutrition for 12 years, was one of the three editors of the book Salud Global. El escenario actual y perspectivas a futuro ("Global Health. The current scene and future perspectives") that was launched mid-April.

"In the times in which we live, editing a book on global health constitutes an ethical imperative," Solimano – who was one of the subjects of the chapter "Three Eminent Chileans that Left their Mark at Columbia" in the Santiago Center's publication "Columbia University and Chile: Over 100 Years of History" - said during the book launch.

During the event, sponsored by Universidad de Chile's School of Medicine, School of Public Health and the Columbia Global Centers | Santiago, Dr. Álex Alarcón, head of the Global Health Program at the School of Public Health and one of the co-editors, called the book unprecedented and said that the Covid-19 pandemic taught us to look at global health from another perspective.

"This book sets a global context, to then address the global risks that are expressed in health problems and that increase the inequities that we as a society already have," Alarcón said. "These inequities mean that ultimately the burden of disease always affects the poorest people," he added, recognizing the university's global health program "which has encouraged a debate that is so necessary in these times."

He was followed by Dr. Óscar Arteaga, director of the School of Public Health, who noted that an increasingly globalized world also implies increased health risks. He reinforced that it is the poorest in society that are most affected by disease and highlighted that the book calls into question how health systems can respond to these challenges.

Dr. Álvaro Franco from Colombia's Universidad de Antioquía delivered the keynote speech during the launch, calling the book "the best post-pandemic academic production that has been produced in Latin America. The phrase 'ethical imperative' is very welcome in this part of the world," he said.

"I recommended to read this book, but more importantly, the need for a global health system now needs to be submitted to serious debate," Franco added.

It is the intention of the Santiago Center and Universidad de Chile's School of Public Health to use this event as a springboard to explore further areas in which the two universities can further collaborate.