Top global health organizations: A primer

At Ali Abad orthopaedic centre in Kabul, a physiotherapist treats an Afghan child who lost her leg after stepping on a landmine. Photo by: M. Kokic /International Committee of the Red Cross

A medical degree is not always necessary to build a career in global health. Behind front-line operations are a myriad of professionals, from scientists researching cures to administrators managing programs.

International assistance of health causes rose from $5.1 billion in 1990 to $21.8 billion in 2007, according to a June 2009 study published in the Lancet medical journal. The report suggests that resources have been moving away from traditional governing institutions toward non-governmental organizations. The percentage flowing through NGOs grew from 13.1 percent in 1990 to 24.9 percent in 2006.

Such funding trends could translate into more career opportunities with a diverse array of organizations, tackling a variety of global health challenges from reproductive health to child survival, infectious diseases to HIV/AIDS, and mental health to nutrition, water and sanitation.

Here are some of the world’s largest global health organizations:

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About the author

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    Jody Nesbitt

    Jody is a Devex international correspondent in Washington, D.C. Previously, he worked as a monitor in South Africa's provincial parliament, as well as a researcher for the Center for Economic and Policy Research and for Glass Lewis & Co. He has studied at Rutgers University, the University of Natal and the University of the West Indies, earning a bachelor's in political science and a master's in international relations.