Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Blue Marble Health

  • Comment

This well-researched book takes you around the world describing diseases and giving solid data

Title: Blue Marble Health

Author: Peter J Hotez

Publisher: John Hopkins University Press

Reviewer: Jane Brown, quality governance manager specialised clinical services division, Worcester Acute NHS Trust

What was it like? 

This is a well-researched book that takes you to different countries of the world, describing diseases and giving solid data. Its author, Peter Hotez, launched the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He describes diseases such as tuberculosis, hookworm, lymphatic filariasis and Chagas disease, to name but a few, that commonly occur in extreme poverty.

The book includes statistics as well as interesting background facts about the populations, economies and diseases found in each of the countries it explores, highlighting socioeconomic issues as well as the north-south divide. The author urges authorities to tackle public health needs and share solutions.

What were the highlights?

In poor areas of Texas, the author has uncovered diseases that you would only expect to find in developing countries. For the reader it is both surprising and shocking to learn that some of the world’s worst poverty-related diseases affect impoverished people living in rich countries like the US. There is nowhere to hide from the facts presented, which do stack up. The reader is left with a strong awareness that something needs to be done to improve a health situation that people in the UK would describe as Dickensian.

Of course the UK also has health and social care issues, including too many homeless people on the streets, but we do have an NHS that treats everybody and, at present, people do not have to pay high insurance costs to receive care. However, the book does make you wonder what consequences Brexit will have for healthcare. It is concerning that the NHS cannot cope with demand and is in a financial crisis. What the future holds for our care system we do not know, as each government seems to just try to paste over the cracks.

Strengths and weaknesses

There is a whole chapter listing literature cited, in which the author is cited on numerous occasions, highlighting just how much research he has carried out himself rather than just quoting other experts.

Who should read it?

This book is for all clinicians caring for people with poverty-related diseases. It should be on the essential reading list of student nurses, as it will raise awareness of some shocking facts and hopefully increase the chance of something being done to solve the problems highlighted.

blue marble health

blue marble health




  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs