Public health has been defined as the art and science of promoting and protecting good health, preventing disease, disability and premature death, restoring good health when impaired by disease or injury, and maximizing quality of life. In literature, public health is portrayed mostly as a product of western civilization, while other world regions are considered recent adopters. To the extent that the west spawned the scientific and industrial revolution, on which basis many of today’s public health technologies have benefited, there is some justification for this view. This is reflected in formal histories of public health, which depict it as mostly deriving from Greco-Roman traditions. Such works are the product of enormous scholarship, but there is a need to broaden this perspective to recognize the contributions of other centers of early science and technology development. This editorial intends to recognize these multicultural foundations, so as to promote broader ownership of public health.
Citation: White F. The Multicultural Origins of Public Health: Historical Perspective. GJMEDPH 5,4:1-3.