Wide inequities in health are hidden in urban settings, says report

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 18 November 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c6586
  1. John Zarocostas
  1. 1Geneva

Health policies in most rapidly urbanising countries remain dominated by disease focused solutions that ignore the social and physical environment, such as the informal urban settlements and slums that are home to about a billion of the world’s poor people, says a joint report from the United Nations and the World Health Organization.

As a result, health problems persist, inequities have increased, and interventions have produced less than optimal results, it notes.

The report says that urban expansion, with seven in 10 people in the world forecast to be living in cities by 2050, will pose major challenges for public health in the years ahead.

Margaret Chan, WHO’s director general, told a forum on urbanisation and health in …

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