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War and Public Health

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.318.7193.1295 (Published 08 May 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:1295
  1. Anthony Zwi, head
  1. Health Policy Unit, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

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    Barry S Levy, Victor W Sidel

    Oxford University Press, £42.50, pp 432

    ISBN 0195108140

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    This book provides an excellent collection of material on the impact of war on public health, and it provides a valuable starting point for much needed debate.

    War and violent political conflict are detrimental to health and health systems. In some cases, of course, violent political conflict may lead to the longer term establishment of a more equitable health and social system, but even in these situations populations and systems suffer in the short to medium term. War and Public Health highlights the debates that took place in the middle 1980s and early 1990s regarding nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction, the impact of war on public health, and the role of health workers in peace advocacy.

    In 1998 we witnessed the testing of nuclear devices in India and Pakistan; anxieties about …

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