The National Library of Medicine (NLM) expands access to health information digitally and free of charge to people around the world. Explore a selection of items from the NLM’s collections related to the revolutionary examples of global health intervention.
“The Pholela Health Centre: A progress report,” reprinted in the American Journal of Public Health courtesy of the South African Medical Journal , Sidney L. Kark and John Cassel, 1952
Drs. Sydney and Emily Kark founded the Pholela Health Center in Natal, South Africa in 1942. The Karks took broad view of medical care that included medical treatment along with social action to reduce the effects of poverty and discrimination. This article is a reprint of their 1952 report on the clinic’s work.
“Commentary: In Search of Innovative Approaches to International Health,” American Journal of Public Health , Sidney and Emily Kark and J.H. Abramson, November 1993
Drs. Sidney and Emily Kark founded the Pholela Health Center on a Zulu tribal reserve in Natal, South Africa in 1942. Fifty years later in the American Journal of Public Health, the Karks and their colleague Dr. Abramson described the Pholela clinic’s impact on primary health care around the world.
“The Return of the Pholela Experiment: Medical History and Primary Health Care in Post-Apartheid South Africa,” American Journal of Public Health , Howard Phillips, October 2014
The Pholela Health Center in Natal, South Africa took a broad view of health care that included medical treatment and action to reduce the effects of poverty. The radical transformation promised by the Pholela Health Center took nearly 50 years to come to fruition in South Africa.
“The March on Washington, 1963,” American Journal of Public Health , Elizabeth Fee et al., February 2002
Dr. H. Jack Geiger, who founded the first community health centers in the United States, traveled to Mississippi as a field coordinator for the Medical Committee for Human Rights in 1964. The Medical Committee for Human Rights brought together doctors, nurses, dentists, and social workers to eliminate racism in health care.
“The 50th Anniversary of Freedom Summer 1964,” American Journal of Public Health , H. Jack Geiger, November 2014
Dr. H. Jack Geiger established the first community health centers in the United States. He began that work after travelling to Mississippi as a volunteer with the civil rights movement. Geiger reflects on how the civil rights movement’s values shaped the development of the community health center.
“The First Community Health Center in Mississippi: Communities Empowering Themselves,” American Journal of Public Health , H. Jack Geiger, October 2016
Dr. H. Jack Geiger established the first community health centers in the United States. He explains that successful community health centers actively engage with patients and local organizations to address barriers to health. The Delta Health Center, founded by Dr. Geiger, built a network of community-based institutions to tackle those barriers.
“Discussions of Group Practice in Comprehensive Health Care Centers,” Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine, John W. Hatch, November 1968
Dr. John W. Hatch joined the Delta Health Center, one of the first community health centers in the nation, in 1967. Dr. Hatch built relationships between the health center and the community to create a patient-directed approach to providing care.
“Discussion of the ‘How’ of Community Participation in Delivering Health Care,” Bulletin of the New York Academy of Medicine , John W Hatch, December 1970
Dr. John W. Hatch joined the Delta Health Center in Mound Bayou, Mississippi, in 1967. He explains his decision to live among the people that he served as a staff member of the Delta Health Center. This allowed him to understand their needs, build trust, and build community participation in clinic administration.
Communities in Action: Pathways to Health Equity , edited by Alina Baciu et al., 2017
Many people leading promising global health initiatives take a broad approach to health that emphasizes both medical care and efforts to reduce the effects of poverty, discrimination, and social isolation. This 2017 book explains specific steps that communities can take towards health and equity.
Remarks by John E. Fogarty to the U.S. House of Representatives on his attendance at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, June 23, 1959
Senator John Fogarty (D-RI) was a champion of public health at home and abroad. After returning from the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, he explained to the House of Representatives that a shared desire for health can bring people together across political and geographic boundaries
John E. Fogarty at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, May 1959
Senator John Fogarty (D-RI), right, was a champion of public health at home and abroad. After attending the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland he recognized the value of medical collaboration in international relations and advocated for it throughout his career.
Poster celebrating World Health Day, World Health Organization, April 7, 1989
The World Health Organization (WHO) states that health is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” Global health workers around the world still work towards health for all.
Health for All-All for Health , Pan American Health Organization with the World Health Organization, 1988
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and World Health Organization (WHO) produced this film to highlight some of their activities to combat disease. It covers everything from the WHO’s successful campaign to eradicate smallpox to the role that inequality between wealthier and poorer regions plays in health.
Erradicación de la Poliomielitis en las Americas , Pan American Health Organization, 1985
This Spanish-language video describes the impact of polio in the Western Hemisphere and attempts to treat and prevent the disease. The film briefly explains the work of scientists to develop the polio vaccine and reports on the Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) efforts to eradicate the virus in the Americas.
“Eradication of Poliomyelitis in Countries Affected by Conflict,” Bulletin of the World Health Organization , R. H. Tangermann, et al., 2000
The Pan American Health Organization’s (PAHO) Health as a Bridge for Peace program ensured that people could get access to the polio vaccine during armed conflict in Latin America. This article describes that work and applies those insights to other regions impacted by conflict.
“The Role of Public Health in the Prevention of War: Rationale and Competencies,” American Journal of Public Health , William H. Wiist et al., June 2014
Members of the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) Peace Caucus suggest that public health professionals should take an active role in opposing conflict. The group proposes that schools of public health, research programs, and advocacy efforts focus on conflict prevention as an essential part of public health practice.
Coping with Natural Disasters: The Role of Local Health Personnel and the Community , World Health Organization and League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, 1989
In this guidebook for communities experiencing natural disasters, the World Health Organization (WHO), in collaboration with the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, discusses the relationship between communities and outside help and offers advice about responding to specific kinds of disasters.
Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery, Institute of Medicine, 2015
In the wake of a disaster, community members, government agencies, charities, and private businesses must work together to rebuild. This book provides strategies for people working to ensure that their community’s health and wellbeing are part of long-term disaster recovery.
Figure from “Integrating Health Research into Disaster Response: The New NIH Disaster Research Response Program, ” International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health , Aubrey Miller et al., July 2016
Communities need relevant and high-quality research on the impacts of disaster and the best response activities. Researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and librarians at the National Library of Medicine describe how the Disaster Research Response Program was designed to meet those needs.
“The Role of Vaccines in the Control of STDs: HPV Vaccines,” Genitourinary Medicine , Ian H. Frazer, December 1996
Dr. Ian Frazer was the leading researcher on the team that developed the GARDASIL vaccine in 2006. Ten years before, Dr. Frazer published this article outlining some of the issues facing researchers working on an HPV vaccine including the choice of antigen, method of delivery, and human trials.
“Epidemiology of Cervical Cancer in Colombia,” Colombia Médica: CM , Nubia Muñoz and Luis Eduardo Bravo, December 2012
Dr. Nubia Muñoz researched the link between cervical cancer and infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV) in the 1980s. This 2012 article describes the rate of cervical cancer in Colombia and outlines how vaccination and improved screening programs can reduce cervical cancer deaths.
Poster for a talk titled “Papillomavirus Virus-like Particles: For Vaccines against HPV and Other Diseases,” 2002
GARDASIL, the first vaccine to protect people from cervical cancer caused by HPV (human papilloma virus), came to market in 2006. Four years before that, the NIH director hosted an afternoon lecture featuring a researcher from the National Cancer Institute discussing issues related to the development of an HPV vaccine.