Health raises transnational challenges requiring multilateral regional, international, or global policy responses. In an interdependent world, very few, if any, health issues are exclusively within the policymaking space of individual countries. The global interdependence of nations, societies, and peoples raises governance challenges for the health systems of countries to address the interlinkages of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases, chronic non-communicable diseases and risk factors, and the social, economic, and corporate determinants of health. The globalisation of the world economy has altered the erstwhile distinction between national and international health. As COVID-19 and past pandemics have demonstrated, disease pathogens do not recognise the territorial boundaries of sovereign states. In the realm of non-communicable diseases, trade in goods and services, and corporate investment regimes create unintended opportunities for the marketing of harmful products such as tobacco, alcohol, and unsafe food which lay the foundations for chronic illnesses: high blood pressure, increased blood glucose, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases. Countries are increasingly resorting to regionalism to address the multifaceted health challenges in different parts of the world. This chapter explores the proliferation of regional organisations, assessing their mandates and polices on health. Given the variants of regionalism globally, the chapter concludes that as regional organisations proliferate, they need to adapt progressively and innovatively to keep pace with the rapidly evolving health issues in an interdependent world.

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