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Public health sciences and policy in low-and middle-income countries 

Public health sciences and policy in low-and middle-income countries
Chapter:
Public health sciences and policy in low-and middle-income countries
Author(s):

Lindiwe Makubalo

, Mary Ann Lansang

, and J. Peter Figueroa

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199218707.003.0049
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date: 06 December 2019

Public health sciences contributed significantly to improving the health of individuals and communities in the twentieth century through evidence-informed policy. Now, more recently emerging public health challenges such as HIV and AIDS, SARS, human influenza, the increase in non-communicable diseases, and the globalization of public health are placing new and increased demands on technical requirements, and on the disciplines required to help craft appropriate policies to address new and evolving public health demands. This chapter argues the need to advance from a more traditional paradigm of public health to a more inclusive approach that incorporates a range of disciplines from outside of the traditional public health domain. This inclusive approach should be more responsive to the changing nature of public health needs in the twenty-first century. Examples are provided of how sciences outside of the public health tradition contributed to improved policy development and resolution of health problems. Challenges related to the public health sciences are identified. These include: Increasing health demands requiring strong collaboration among already stretched disciplines that do not traditionally interact; the need for national-level training for health policy development in low- and middle-income countries; advocacy and capacity building for policy and health systems research; and the development of new collaborative arrangements at global and regional levels. A model of how public health sciences might contribute more effectively to policy development is proposed.

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