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What's Killing Us: A Practical Guide to Understanding Our Biggest Global Health Problems [Kindle Edition]

Alanna Shaikh
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In the past decade, we’ve changed the way we collectively view the health of the 7 billion people who occupy this planet. Health issues were once seen as an isolated national or regional problem; now they are a global concern. In 'What's Killing Us: A Practical Guide to Understanding Our Biggest Global Health Problems,' 2011 TED Senior Fellow and health care expert Alanna Shaikh lays out the most important challenges and issues in global wellness - from tuberculosis to HIV/AIDS, flu, maternal mortality, and the diminishing effectiveness of antibiotics - while untangling the web of jargon that so often permeate those discussions. Shaikh, who runs the international development focused-blog Blood and Milk, also provides clear ideas about how these worldwide problems can be managed.

Product Details

  • File Size: 181 KB
  • Print Length: 52 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007MAHLJ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #191,870 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Jessica
Format:Kindle Edition
Alanna Shaikh's debut book is an engaging and accessible introduction to the global health landscape. Despite all of the new money and media attention devoted to international health during the past decade, the existing entree points for newcomers to the field have historically been few and far between. In this book, Shaikh finally fills the important gap between "human interest" news features on the one hand and textbooks, technical reports and journal articles on the other. Brief chapters are devoted to the most pressing health challenges facing the world today, using concrete examples to explain why each of these problems is more (or in some cases, less) urgent than we might think - and to posit possible solutions.

For those of us enmeshed in global health policy on a day-to-day basis, it's easy to get lost in the nuance and lose sight of the big picture. Here, though, Shaikh skillfully and concisely distills the broad contours of the current discourse into one sitting. As such, I would strongly recommend this primer to three different types of readers: 1) undergraduate students interested in international development, to better understand how health fits into the bigger picture; 2) diplomats and foreign affairs professionals whose portfolios tangentially relate to some of these health isssues; and 3) wealthy individuals or small family foundations with an interest in giving globally but who need guidance about the areas where their contributions could have the biggest impact.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
The focus of global health, of course, is really global sickness. Alanna Shaikh's new TED book, "What's Killing Us?," an overview / guide to 10 of the most major challenges, shows why the bugs are gaining competitive advantage (sometimes literally, i.e., antibiotic resistance) and how quickly even small local outbreaks can become international catastrophes. Shaikh's fast-paced no-nonsense approach neatly crosses the "specialties" divide that often dominates the discussion. The focus isn't Malaria, or Maternal Health, or Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), but all the above. The issues dovetail, which is why many of the answers in Shaikh's "What we can do" sections are similar: more funding to bolster public health infrastructure, more effective delivery of preventive health care, particularly for pregnant women and young children, and more investment in research for new / better / cheaper drugs and vaccines.

The good news among the litany of stacked odds is that there *can* be good news. But it will take a much broader general awareness of the issues and sustained international political will to make any long-term meaningful difference.

Shocking statistics and heart-wrenching details are seeded throughout:

* If you are a 5-year old in rural Mali, you've probably got worms
* One out of every three people on this planet is infected with TB bacteria
* More than one-third of all child deaths are linked to malnutrition
* 2 million children are left without mothers every year
* Only women routinely die to become a parent
* Based on current projections, antibiotics will stop working in 10 years. Completely.

And everything (really *everything*) is worse with climate change...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
With her characteristic intelligence for making the complex understandable to lay audiences while not dumbing down the content and making it a worthy read for those with expertise in the subject matter, Alanna Shaikh has written an excellent, succinct TED book that addresses 10 of the most pressing issues in global health. As a well known blogger on global health and humanitarian aid issues, a Senior TED Fellow, and Maternal Child Health expert with years of experience working in the Mid East and Central Asia, Shaikh is well poised to see the big picture in health and communicate its core concerns with clarity and practical action steps. AS a physician with a specialty in women's health and global health, I found Shaikh's book to be an excellent reminder of what most ails us and what solutions are within reach; I also learned a few new things. Shaikh is a broad and diverse thinker and a witty, chiseled writer, mentioning not only obviously deadly viruses, but health systems and environmental threats. The logical structure of her book allows you to read it from start to finish in an hour or two or skip to the chapters that most interest you. I highly recommend this book to students of public health, political science, global development, economics, and international relations; aid workers; diplomats; journalists; and readers of nonfiction interested in global affairs.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enough to Whet Appetite but not Enough to Satisfy Hunger February 25, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What's Killing Us: A Practical Guide to Understanding Our Biggest Global Health Problems by Alanna Shaikh

"What's Killing Us" is a brief guide that lays out the most important challenges and issues in global health care. TED Senior Fellow, global health and development specialist, Alanna Shaikh, shares proven ways to solve problems and improve global health. The book is average but the message is not, Shaikh does enough to whet the appetite of the public on the key factors that will shape global health for the next decade. This educational 52-page book includes the following ten chapters (global health issues): 1. Pandemic influenza, 2. Chronic and noncommunicable diseases, 3. Neglected tropical diseases, 4. HIV and AIDS, 5. Tuberculosis, 6. Weak health care systems, 7. Child mortality, 8. Motherhood, 9. The end of antibiotics, and 10. Climate change.

1. Accessible and concise prose.
2. Excellent topic and Shaikh has great command of it.
3. Excellent format that is applied to each global health issue: The basics, Why we should worry, and What we can do. Excellent approach.
4. Provides a representative list of ten global health issues of importance.
5. Does a good of defining terms. "Pandemic influenza is an epidemic of the flu virus that spreads worldwide."
6. A lot of facts in a brief guide. "Deaths from that 2009 epidemic killed about half the number who die from seasonal flu every year in the U.S., while the catastrophic 1918 flu pandemic killed at least 40 million people; some estimates go as high as 100 million."
7. The issue of obesity. "Obesity has followed globalization. So have many other chronic diseases.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars an hour well spent
I am a primary care physician from the US working in Papua New Guinea at a district hospital. I have undertaken a self-study of global health out of interest and necessity. Read more
Published 1 month ago by bobomarko
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid
Nice intro to the major health challenges facing our planet. Although it presents a grim outlook, it also offers plenty of avenues for action and change.
Published 10 months ago by Ben Abraham
5.0 out of 5 stars A wake-up call to human beings
We cannot ignore global problems anymore, while they are so relavant to our present and future. global issues are not so far away from us. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Brian
5.0 out of 5 stars Public Health Must-Read
A quick read with a ton of interesting and essential information for anyone with an interest in public health... extremely relevant!
Published 14 months ago by MPHStudent14
2.0 out of 5 stars Reads like an expanded powerpoint presentation
There are important global health issues that we should all be well aware of. This booklet does address some of them. Read more
Published on May 23, 2012 by nomorenicknamesleft
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Alanna Shaikh's guide is an excellent source of basic information about a handful of major world health issues. Read more
Published on April 22, 2012 by margo strucker
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommended
Alanna Shaikh's new book is a nice quick fun read, packed full of things I didn't know on almost every page. Recommended. Some personal highlights here: [...]
Published on April 20, 2012 by Lee Crawfurd
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