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Health Reports & Data

Global Health


Improve public health and strengthen U.S. national security through global disease detection, response, prevention, and control strategies.


The health of the U.S. population can be affected by public health threats or events across the globe. Recent examples of this include the 2003 SARS epidemic and the 2009 spread of novel H1N1 influenza. Improving global health can improve health in the United States and support national and global security interests by fostering political stability, diplomacy, and economic growth worldwide.

Why is Global Health Important?

Global health plays an increasingly crucial role in global security and the security of the U.S. population. As the world and its economies become increasingly globalized, including extensive international travel and commerce, it is necessary to think about health in a global context. Rarely a week goes by without a headline about the emergence or re-emergence of an infectious disease or other health threat somewhere in the world. The 2007 World Health Report1 notes that, “since the 1970s, newly emerging diseases have been identified at the unprecedented rate of one or more per year.” The Institute of Medicine’s 2003 report Microbial Threats to Health2 stresses that the United States should enhance the global capacity for responding to infectious disease threats and should take a leadership role in promoting a comprehensive, global, real-time infectious disease surveillance system.

Rapid identification and control of emerging infectious diseases helps:

• Promote health abroad.
• Prevent the international spread of disease.
• Protect the health of the U.S. population.

The large scope of potential global public health threats is recognized in the revised International Health Regulations (IHR [2005])3 with its all-hazards approach to assessing serious public health threats. These regulations are designed to prevent the international spread of diseases, while minimizing interruption of world travel and trade. They encourage countries to work together to share information about known diseases and public health events of international concern.

Global health concerns are not limited to infectious diseases. Noncommunicable diseases, especially “lifestyle” conditions, are among the leading causes of disability worldwide. These conditions include:

• Diabetes and obesity
• Mental illness
• Substance abuse/use disorders, including tobacco use
• Injuries

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that tobacco- and smoking-related deaths will increase from 5.1 million each year to 8.3 million each year by 2030 (which will be nearly 10 percent of all deaths globally).4

In the next 10 years, road traffic injuries are expected to become the 3rd largest contributor to the global burden of disease by 2020, with 90 percent of all deaths from road traffic injuries occurring in low-income countries.5

Additional Resources

HP2020’s National Objectives for Global Health


  1. World Health Organization (WHO). World health report 2007: Global public health security in the 21st century [Internet]. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2007. Available from: http://www.who.int/whr/2007/en/index.html
  2. Institute of Medicine, Board on Global Health, Committee on Emerging Microbial Threats to Health in the 21st Century. Microbial threats to health: Emergence, detection, and response [Internet]. Smolinski MS, Hamburg MA, Lederberg J, editors. Washington: National Academies Press; 2003. Available from: http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?record_id=10636
  3. World Health Organization (WHO). International health regulations 2005 [Internet]. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2005. Available from: http://www.who.int/ihr/9789241596664/en/index.html
  4. World Health Organization (WHO). The global burden of disease: 2004 update [Internet]. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2008. Available from: http://www.who.int/healthinfo/global_burden_disease/2004_report_update/en/index.html
  5. World Health Organization (WHO). World report on road traffic injury prevention [Internet]. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO; 2004. Available from: http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/publications/road_traffic/world_report/en/

State Indicator Definition:
Number of confirmed cases of tuberculosis among the foreign-born population per 100,000 foreign-born persons. The national indicator is defined in exactly the same way.

State Baseline:
33.3 per 100,000 foreign-born population (2010)

Most Recent State Value:
36.3 cases per 100,000 foreign-born population (2015)

HP2020 Target:
National: 14.0 cases per 100,000 foreign-born population

National Data Source:
National Tuberculosis Indicators Project

State Data Source:
Hawaii State Department of Health, Tuberculosis Control Program

Data Reports:
HHM Report