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    191583

    Global health improvement and WHO [letter]

    Shatenstein S

    Lancet. 2004 Apr 3; 363(9415):1162.

    I commend Lee Jong-Wook for his Public health article, the most shocking statistic of which highlights the fact that almost a fifth of all deaths across the world occur in developing countries in children younger than 5 years. Efforts by WHO to alleviate this terrible burden are to be acclaimed. I find it disheartening, however, that a 5000-word essay on global health improvement makes only a few general references to noncommunicable diseases and fails to mention the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC), one of WHO’s signal achievements. In fact, the words smoking and tobacco do not appear anywhere in the article, despite WHO’s acknowledgment that 4·9 million people are dying each year from tobacco use—a figure that will double within a generation. According to WHO’s own statistics, the burden of disease is currently shared evenly by developed and developing countries, but 70% of this risk will be borne by those in developing countries by the 2020s. (excerpt)
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