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Globalization is associated with a number of flows that have direct and indirect effects on health. The following are some of the effects: 1)Increased pathogen flows-Whether it is the risk of drug-resistant tuberculosis or pandemic influenza, the movement of people means the transport of pathogens. SARS was a wake-up call to a somnambulant public health community and the spark for new International Health Regulations and multilateral health collaborations. Global trade, another ancient vector of disease, poses other health risks, from the spread of pests to that of pestilence. 2)Increased information flows-Advances in computing and telecommunications have shaped modern globalization, increasing the spread of health knowledge and technological innovation, the reach of multinational firms, and the rise of contesting social movements. But despite the global spread of interconnectivity, access to the information superhighway remains highly skewed. Most people in high-income countries are connected, but scarcely 1 in 100 Africans are. 3)Increased trade flows- The accelerated flow of traded goods and services enabled by economic integration has created new sources of wealth and health for some. But patterns of production and exchange, along with labor market changes, have left many vulnerable to employment insecurity, insufficient health and safety protections, and environmental degradation. In addition, the energy requirements of global production chains, and the fossil fuels used in transportation, are now among the fastest-growing sectoral contributors to climate change emissions. 4)Increased financial flows- Foreign direct investment (FDI) and the more recent rise of outsourced contract production have reorganized production across national borders, in the process creating a genuinely global labor market that increases economic inequality and the insecurity of many workers. FDI flows have now been dwarfed by short-term financial flows, with far-reaching consequences not only for health but for the power to implement policies that protect and enhance health. 5)Increased people flows- Migration, long a defining feature of globalization and the pursuit of greater opportunity, is driven increasingly by economic and environmental necessity. Rich-country borders remain open to the best and the brightest but are revolving doors for workers with limited crede
by Elizabeth Oduor