I’m not a global health expert, but now I can fake it…

…thanks to a new e-book called What’s Killing Us: A Practical Guide to Understanding Our Biggest Global Health Problems.

It’s written by Alanna Shaikh and published through TED Books. That makes it pretty much self-recommending. However, blogging-best-practice required me to actually finish reading it before telling others to do so.

The book consists of ten short chapters that each describe the basic facts about a different global health problem. Writing for a nonspecialist audience, Shaikh lays out why we should worry about each problem and what can be done to address it. The result is a fantastic primer on global health issues for an outsider to the field. I especially appreciated the tie-ins with other development issues: weak healthcare systems and climate change both earned their own chapters.

The book is on the short side, matching the price of $2.99. I read it in a few sittings over dinner and before bed — which is not recommended if you might a) get squeamish reading about tropical stomach bugs, or b) have nightmares after learning just how dire the future of antibiotics is. But I leave the reading schedule to you. Do find a way to fit it in.