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Global health context for the military in Defence Engagement (Health)

Global health practice is becoming a key enabler within UK Defence and foreign policy. The definition of global health remains debated, though some important themes have been identified including: the multidisciplinary nature of global health, its ethical foundation and the political nature of global health. This paper contributes to the ongoing rational discourse that this important discipline deserves and recommends a framework and principles to apply to military health and care system strengthening in the Defence Engagement (Health) (DE(H)) practitioner role. DE(H) involves complex multiorganisational relationships and processes, and while practitioners should be mindful of the political nature of their role, the broad aims of preventing conflict and building stability mean DE(H) should contribute positively to global health. This paper forms part of a special issue of BMJ Military Health dedicated to Defence Engagement.

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