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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 162-163

Millions saved: New cases of proven success in global health

Clinical Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences, University of Illinois School of Public Health, National Center for Rural Health Professions, University of Illinois College of Medicine - Rockford, USA

Date of Web Publication19-Aug-2016

Correspondence Address:
Karen E Peters
Clinical Assistant Professor of Community Health Sciences, University of Illinois School of Public Health, National Center for Rural Health Professions, University of Illinois College of Medicine - Rockford
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.188784

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How to cite this article:
Peters KE. Millions saved: New cases of proven success in global health. Educ Health 2016;29:162-3

How to cite this URL:
Peters KE. Millions saved: New cases of proven success in global health. Educ Health [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Aug 15];29:162-3. Available from:

Amanda Glassman and Miriam Temin (editors and authors)
Center for Global Development, Washington DC,
United States of America (2016),
ISBN: 978-1-933286-88-4

The articulation of what is meant by 'success' in global health can be a daunting endeavor. Policy makers, funders, governments, academics and students alike are interested in understanding what it takes to make a global health effort a success. A new book and a companion web-based multimedia project have been recently published to help us learn about achieving success in global health. This work, 'Millions Saved: New Cases of Proven Success in Global Health' and its accompanying website 'Millions Saved' (, produced by the US based Center for Global Development (, will be of interest to those seeking to delve into global health from an impact evaluation perspective as well as to teachers of global health who are looking for case based resources that provided excellently sourced material for investigating global health success.

At its core, the book documents 22 case studies divided into the following four categories: (1) Medicine and Technology; (2) Health Services Access; (3) Cash Transfers; and, (4) Risk Reduction through Behavior Change. In addition there is an insightful Foreword written by Bill Gates, a glossary and a chapter describing the methods utilized in selecting and analyzing the cases. The cases illustrate efforts to improve health in low and middle income countries. The criteria used for case section included importance, impact, scale and duration along with a rigorous assessment of cost effectiveness. It is worth noting that not all cases were deemed equally successful and the authors provide a case within each of the categories which they entitle 'Learning from Disappointment' to help us to see what didn't happen and why. Each case write-up includes an 'at a glance' description, a definition of the health problem being addressed, the approach used to tackle the problem, the impact on health, the strength of the evidence of success, the costs involved, the keys to 'success' and the implications of the lessons learned for global health. Each case concludes with an extensive reference list.

If one is looking for a freely accessible version of this work, one needs look no further than the companion web-based site that complements the book, available at Here one will find an easily navigable, multi-media set of resources that support the 22 cases described in the book. Photographs, narrative, graphics, video clips, maps and infographics are all available to support the more detailed description of the cases presented in the book format. While the complete narrative of each case presented in the book is not provided, the web-based resource provides more than enough information to make the cases 'come alive' in a way that is not possible in print format. Taken together the book and web-based resource provide a tremendous opportunity for a variety of audiences to engage with current day global health successes in an interactive and exploratory way.

This work builds somewhat on two previous, similarly titled case-based global health books, 'Millions Saved: Proven Successes in Global Health' [1] and 'Case Studies in Global Health: Millions Saved', [2] both of which present some of the seminal and successful work in global health such as the eradication of small pox, the ongoing efforts to eliminate polio and guinea worm, and efforts to control tuberculosis and trachoma. As teaching resources, these works can be used as the basis for further student inquiry into current day status of these cases. The student can find excellent source materials for these earlier cases at another of the Center for Global Development's website at:, which makes the cases available for free download as PDF files along with background materials on each case. The case books are available from a variety of sources, and Jones and Bartlett Publishers provides access to instructor materials upon request (verification of instructor status required).

The authors Amanda Glassman and Miriam Temin along with their colleagues at the Center for Global Development have done those of us with interests and passion for global health a grand favor by compiling this comprehensive and compelling set of global health successes from which we can learn to build successful global health strategies that will alleviate suffering and achieve health equity for all.

  References Top

Levine, Ruth, What Works Working Group, and Molly Kinder. 2004. Millions Saved: Proven Successes in Global Health. Washington, DC: Center for Global Development.  Back to cited text no. 1
Levine, Ruth. 2007. Case Studies in Global Health: Millions Saved. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.  Back to cited text no. 2


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