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Fragile States, Infectious Disease and Health Security: The Case for Timor-Leste

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  • John M. Quinn

    (Prague Center for Global Health, Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
    Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidade Nacional Timor-Leste, Dili, Timor-Leste; School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Ministry of Health, Dili, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
    Department of Public Health and Health Systems, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Aichi, Japan)

  • Nelson Martins

    (Prague Center for Global Health, Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
    Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidade Nacional Timor-Leste, Dili, Timor-Leste; School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Ministry of Health, Dili, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
    Department of Public Health and Health Systems, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Aichi, Japan)

  • Mateus Cunha

    (Prague Center for Global Health, Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
    Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidade Nacional Timor-Leste, Dili, Timor-Leste; School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Ministry of Health, Dili, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
    Department of Public Health and Health Systems, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Aichi, Japan)

  • Michiyo Higuchi

    (Prague Center for Global Health, Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
    Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidade Nacional Timor-Leste, Dili, Timor-Leste; School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Ministry of Health, Dili, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
    Department of Public Health and Health Systems, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Aichi, Japan)

  • Dan Murphy

    (Prague Center for Global Health, Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
    Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidade Nacional Timor-Leste, Dili, Timor-Leste; School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Ministry of Health, Dili, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
    Department of Public Health and Health Systems, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Aichi, Japan)

  • Vladimir Bencko

    (Prague Center for Global Health, Institute of Hygiene and Epidemiology, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
    Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universidade Nacional Timor-Leste, Dili, Timor-Leste; School of Public Health and Community Medicine, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
    Ministry of Health, Dili, Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
    Department of Public Health and Health Systems, Nagoya University School of Medicine, Aichi, Japan)

Abstract

Timor-Leste is a very young and developing nation state. Endemic infectious disease and weakened health security coupled with its growing and inclusive public institutions keep Timor-Leste fragile and in transition on the spectrum of state stability. The objective here is to systematically review Timor-Leste's state and public health successes, showing how a fragile state can consistently improve its status on the continuum of stability and improve health security for the population. The case study follows a state case study approach, together with a disease burden review and a basic description of the health portrait in relation to Timor-Leste's fragile state status. Disease burden and health security are directly proportional to state stability and indirectly proportional to state failure. Timor-Leste is a clear example of how public health can feed into increased state stability. Our discussion attempts to describe how the weak and fragile island nation of Timor-Leste can continue on its current path of transition to state stability by increasing health security for its citizens. We surmise that this can be realized when public policy focuses on primary healthcare access, inclusive state institutions, basic hygiene and preventative vaccination programs. Based on our review, the core findings indicate that by increasing health security, a positive feedback loop of state stability follows. The use of Timor-Leste as a case study better describes the connection between public health and health security; and state stability, development and inclusive state institutions that promote health security.

Suggested Citation

  • John M. Quinn & Nelson Martins & Mateus Cunha & Michiyo Higuchi & Dan Murphy & Vladimir Bencko, 2014. "Fragile States, Infectious Disease and Health Security: The Case for Timor-Leste," Journal of Human Security, Librello publishing house, vol. 10(1), pages 14-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:lib:00johs:v:10:y:2014:i:1:p:14-31
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    development medicine; fragile and failed states; global public health; health security; public health policy;

    JEL classification:

    • D63 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • F51 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Conflicts; Negotiations; Sanctions
    • F52 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations
    • F54 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Colonialism; Imperialism; Postcolonialism
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements
    • F64 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Environment
    • F68 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Policy
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination
    • J8 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards
    • O2 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Y3 - Miscellaneous Categories - - Book Reviews
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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