Countries must work together to address global health risks, said the chief medical officer in England.
In its final annual report, prof. Dame Sally Davies said focusing on domestic issues could risk failure to control global threats such as ebola.
She also said that learning from other countries also ensures that NHS does not stay behind.
After nine years of CMO, she will become a Master of Trinity College at Cambridge University.
Professor Davies said, "Investing in global health is a smart thing because it is in our common interest. It creates a better world for us and for future generations.
"It helps to preserve our population."
"We need to invest in systems and solutions that contribute to justice, safety and sustainability of health.
"What we learn abroad will improve our NHS and support our domestic efforts to ensure that no one in the UK is left behind."
Dame Sally cited the last year's outbreak of apes in the UK – the first cases of illness outside of Africa since 2003.
She said that UK collaboration with the Nigerian Disease Control Center helped to maintain and manage the situation and minimize the impact of public health.
As in the case of the outbreak of Ebola in Sierra Leone, experts from the UK help those dealing with the current epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The second focus for global health initiatives should be to increase non-communicable diseases, including heart disease, stroke and cancer, said Dame Sally.
They will be leading causes of death in low-income countries by 2021.