Global public health as a concept needs examination. Given that the use of the term has become so common, across such broad topics, it is worthwhile to take stock, review and evaluate how it is being used. In an ever-changing and increasingly globalised context, how should global public health be understood and how should it adapt?
We conducted a literature review of articles between 1990 and 2014 that included the phrase ‘global public health’ in the title and/or abstract. Using these articles and some specifically selected influential articles from outside the search parameters we found that the articles rarely engage with political factors impacting on health, instead focusing on disease-specific challenges or technical issues.
This article seeks to contribute to a wider study and discussion on the role of global public health in today's global setting, conducted by the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva.