In spite of the dire health consequences of globalisation, the globalised world also presents an exceptional possibility to improve global health. Technological development and the possibilities of the internet result in much better ways to develop and exchange knowledge and research than previously known. It has been said for a long time that "We have guns but no magic bullets" to solve global health problems – this is probably no longer the truth; rather, the big challenge now seems to lie in increasing the focus on the possibilities of globalisation, and in emphasising that the world's resources need to be distributed better and more fairly. In the rich countries, too little is more than enough - in the poor countries, too much is not enough. To get involved in global health in practice implies collaborating across borders in finding and sharing solutions to common health problems. The WHO has not had the power to improve on inequity issues, but with the focus in recent years on such issues, new players have emerged such as The Gates Foundation and GAVI. Furthermore, with The Millenium Development goals, clear objectives for reducing inequity have been formulated, even though the resources are still not sufficient.
The direct correlation between poverty and health is well-known. Poverty keeps people in a poor state of health and yields poor health choices. Poverty prevents people from living a financially productive life, creates high infant mortality and high fertility. Poverty constitutes fertile soil for national instability and chronic conflicts that render productivity and sensible health choices impossible. The distinction between rich and poor people is not just global, but also national, and is closely related to unequal access to health care opportunities. Health has turned into a safety element.
Recent years have seen more and more investigations showing that good health can drive economic development, while the opposite is less clear. The special development in Cuba, China, India and Russia indicates that poor health is a poor national investment. It pays to solve health issues and health issues cannot be tackled only on a national level - there is a need for a global Kyoto (or Copenhagen?) health agreement.