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In: War and public health, edited by Barry S. Levy, Victor W. Sidel. Washington, D.C., American Public Health Association [APHA], 2000. 254-278.War has always been disastrous for civilians, and the Persian Gulf War was no exception. Yet the image that has been perpetuated in the West is that the Gulf War was somehow "clean" and fought with "surgical precision" in a manner that minimized civilian casualties. However, massive wartime damage to Iraq's civilian infrastructure led to a breakdown in virtually all sectors of society. Economic sanctions further paralyzed Iraq's economy and made any meaningful post-war reconstruction all but impossible. Furthermore, the invasion of Kuwait and the subsequent Gulf War unleashed internal political events that have been responsible for further suffering and countless human fights violations. The human impact of these events is incalculable. In 1996, more than five years after the end of the war, the vast majority of Iraqi civilians still subsist in a state of extreme hardship, in which health care, nutrition, education, water, sanitation, and other basic services are minimal. As many as 500,000 children are believed to have died since the beginning of the Persian Gulf War, largely due to malnutrition and a resurgence of diarrheal and vaccine- preventable diseases. Health services are barely functioning due to shortages of supplies and equipment. Medicines, including insulin, antibiotics, and anesthetics, are in short supply. The psychological impact of the war has had a damaging and lasting effect on many of Iraq's estimated eight million children. (excerpt)
Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1990. xix, 136 p.The Commission on Health Research for Development is an independent international consortium formed in 1987 to improve the health of people in developing countries by the power of research. This book is the result of 2 years of effort: 19 commissioned papers, 8 expert meetings, 8 regional workshops, case studies of health research activities in 10 developing countries and hundreds of individual discussions. A unique global survey examined financing, locations and promotion of health research. The focus of all this work was the influence of health on development. This book has 3 sections: a review of global health inequities and why health research is needed; findings of country surveys, health research financing, selection of topics and promotion; conclusions and recommendations. Some research priorities are contraception and reproductive health, behavioral health in developing countries, applied research on essential drugs, vitamin A deficiency, substance abuse, tuberculosis. The main recommendations are: that all countries begin essential national health research (ENHR), with international partnership; that larger and sustained international funding for research be mobilized; and that larger and sustained international funding for research be mobilized; and that international mechanisms for monitoring progress be established. The book is full of graphs and contains footnotes, a complete bibliography and an index.
In: Bannerman RH, Burton J, Ch'en Wen-Chieh. Traditional medicine and health care coverage: a reader for health administrators and practitioners. Geneva, Switzerland, World Health Organization, 1983. 102-9.This article presents a short history of public health and explains the advantages of using combined approaches to the solution of public health programs. The cases of smallpox and kwashiorkor are given as examples. Although vaccination for smallpox was discovered in the 18th-century, it was not until 1960 that the member states of the World Health Organization decided to rid the world of the disease. With great managerial skill, the epidemiological knowledge was gathered, and local beliefs and customs were documented and taken into account when planning the strategy and the tactics of smallpox eradication. New techniques for producing vaccine and vaccination were developed and adapted for use in a variety of field conditions. The effectiveness of the new techniques of vaccination was demonstrated to the local people who sooner or later believed that vaccination succeeded in preventing the disease. Kwashiorkor, meaning 'displaced child' in the Gha language, was recognized in Ghana as a disease syndrome affecting babies displaced from their mother's breast by the advent of a pregnancy and later by the arrival of a new baby. The discovery might have taken place sooner if health workers had given heed to the traditional name of the condition. The foundation of public health is epidemiology, the science which explores how disease falls upon the community. As yet it has as a rule only considered the host from the point of view of such simple characteristics as age, sex, and mortality. It has omitted any serious study of the behavior, beliefs, motives, relationships, and capacities of the host which are frequently major factors in the maintenance of health and the etiology of sickness in the society. WHO, an organization which combines medicine and public health measures, is mentioned as recently putting greater stress on involving local inhabitants with some basic training in providing combined services.