cover image Global Health Security: A Blueprint for the Future

Global Health Security: A Blueprint for the Future

Lawrence O. Gostin. Harvard Univ, $45 (304p) ISBN 978-0-674976-61-0

Gostin (Global Health Law), director of the World Health Organization’s Collaborating Center on National and Global Health Law, puts his expertise to good use in this comprehensive and detailed blueprint for responding to global health crises. Gostin casts a wide net, addressing the overuse of antibiotics, climate change, and the lack of universal health coverage. The overall picture is a frightening one, and Gostin covers both obvious consequences—such as that overprescribed antibiotics cause resistant forms of bacteria—and collateral ones, such as that “without effective antibiotics, cesarean sections could become too dangerous to perform.” His prescriptions are sound, such as adequately funding research, creating a robust system for global health governance, and ensuring healthy conditions for animals intended as part of the human food chain. Gostin goes further to explain how lessons from Covid-19 can remake society to be better prepared for future health threats, for example by redesigning cities (with more green space and bike lanes) and reimagining education (studying further how remote schooling effects learning). His survey is not intended for the lay reader, but rather policymakers, scholars, advocates, and students of public health who are more likely to delve into tables detailing international biosecurity norms. Specialist readers will find this to be a thoughtful road map. (Sept.)