Global Health in Social Media: Twitter

We’re all aware that use of social media has skyrocketed within the past few years. This blog, for example, is only one of 100 million that make up the “blogosphere,” constantly connecting readers and acting as a source of easily spreadable public opinion. Activists have taken special claims, launching plentiful campaigns via media sites. The huge online buzz allows the public to be a part of more than ever before from the comfort of their home, especially in the realm of social change. However, the explosion in media accounts can be incredibly overwhelming, even within specific genres, such as global health or student advocacy. A well-known aid organization, for example, might not have a great social media presence, which makes it hard for us to decide who we should really follow to get updates and get involved with the world of global health. Here are a few accounts that, in my opinion, offer diverse information for the global-health minded. (Of course, you should already be following @NUGlobalHealth – that’s a given!)

The Gates Foundation: @gatesfoundation

Twitter bio: We work to help all people lead healthy, productive lives, focused on health, poverty, and opportunity. Follow our work: ‪@gateshealth, ‪@gatespoverty, ‪@gatesed. Seattle, Washington ·

  • 1.1 million followers
  • 7,334 tweets
  • Combination of links to blog posts, retweets of other valid accounts, and
  • Great example of how collaboration is essential in our society; by linking to Rotary, UNICEF, WaterAID America, etc.


Global Health Corps: @ghcorps

Twitter bio: Global Health Corps (GHC) mobilizes a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity.

  • 2,872 tweets
  • Post opportunities to get involved in a vast variety of health equity-related organizations
  • Especially relevant to students looking into service post-graduation


Nicholas Kristof: @NickKristof

Twitter bio: New York Times columnist, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, co-author Half the Sky. Everywhere ·

  • 14,860 tweets
  • Post links to articles he’s written, but not just that – he includes witty commentary, never misses a current event, and isn’t afraid to bring up the hard facts in an argument.
  • He also is a fierce advocate for oppressed women worldwide (check out


Nancy M. Birdsall: @nancymbirdsall

Twitter bio: Founding president Center for Global Development ‪@cgdev. Tweeting mostly on dev issues. Views are my own not necessarily (but probably) ok at ‪@cgdev. Washington, DC ·

  • 1,524 tweets
  • Retweets a broad variety of individuals in unique positions related to global health; from a development perspective, her Twitter combines facts with action plans.

Of course, there are thousands of accounts out there that offer unique and valuable information in the world of global health. I only mean to offer a starting point to sifting through the constantly growing, constantly changing world of Twitter. If your favorite global health accounts are missing, please share below!

Other notable accounts:

  • @malalafund
  • @unesco
  • @gatesed
  • @ONEcampaign
  • @GlobalFund


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