Middle East health: the outlook after 30 years of WHO assistance in a changing region.
An assessment of health progress in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) is provided through narration and photographs. The renewed threat of malaria and efforts to control it are discussed. Other traditional diseases of the area examined in today's terms are schistosomiasis, cholera, tuberculosis, trachoma and smallpox. Modern health problems, including cancer, heart diseases, mental disorders and occupational hazards are explored. Environmental problems, or "the fall-outs of technology," are discussed, along with urban sprawl, water shortages, air and marine pollution and desertification. It is stressed that changing times demand changing attitudes towards the environment. Specific areas that need to be addressed, particularly food safety, are pointed out. WHO's work with EMR countries in health manpower development includes planning, educational development and support, and the actual training of individuals. The need for more health personnel is documented. Nursing as a profession in the EMR is discussed, as is its growth; 1 problem in education of nurses is the lack of textbooks in Arabic. The prospects of health for all by the year 2000 are discussed. The importance of using appropriate technology in providing primary health care is stressed. Family health and planning is examined, including child care priorities such as newborn care, the critical weaning period, and immunization. Current biomedical research in the EMR is discussed, including health services research, efforts for diarrhea and streptococcal infection control, drug utilization studies, tropical disease studies and the search for a malaria vaccine. MEDLINE, the regional health literature service, is described. Technical cooperation among the countries of the EMR is discussed. Profiles showing the population, medical manpower and health facilities of each country in the EMR are provided.