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What's Killing Us

A Practical Guide to Understanding Our Biggest Global Health Problems

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


In the past half-century, 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 healthcare expert Alanna Shaikh lays out the most important challenges and issues in global wellness - from tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS to flu, maternal mortality, and the diminishing effectiveness of antibiotics - while untangling the web of jargon that so often permeate those discussions. Shaikh, who also runs the international development focused-blog Blood and Milk, provides clear ideas about how these worldwide problems can be managed.

Customer Reviews

Very poor analysis

Very poor analysis. In fact the worlds largest killer, cancer, is barely touched in this book. Book appears to be politically motivated rather than enlightening. No new information is presented in a brief way. No depth, dry, and poorly constructed. This book is waste of $2.99, but more importantly a waste of time.

Powerful in the Aggregate / Must Read Primer for Health Workers and Policy-Makers

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 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...

To those who work in the field or cover the issues, much of this may be familiar territory, but seeing the issues in aggregate is powerful. For those considering careers in health care public policy, Shaikh's book is a must-read primer.

What's Killing Us
View in iTunes
  • $2.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Health & Fitness
  • Published: Mar 18, 2012
  • Publisher: TED Conferences
  • Seller: TED Conferences, LLC
  • Print Length: 35 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings