Intended for healthcare professionals


Economic globalisation and its effect on health

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: (Published 09 May 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1401

Some diseases could be eradicated for the cost of a couple of fighter planes

  1. Nigel Unwin (,
  2. George Alberti,
  3. Terry Aspray,
  4. Richard Edwards,
  5. Jean-Claude Mbanya,
  6. Eugene Sobngwi,
  7. Ferdinand Mugusi,
  8. Seif Rashid,
  9. Philip Setel,
  10. David Whiting
  1. (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
  2. (Yaounde, Cameroon)
  3. (Dar es Salaam, Tanzania)
  4. c/o Department of Medicine, University of Newcastle Medical School, Newcastle NE2 4HH

    Letters p 1456

    According to World Bank figures Tanzania ranks as one of the world's poorest countries,1 yet its commercial centre, Dar es Salaam, is one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live2—because expatriates on developed world salaries have helped to fuel living costs. An even greater irony is that for Tanzania and many developing nations net flows of wealth remain, as in colonial days, from poor to rich.3 Far more is spent on servicing national debt than on services such as health or education.4 These are perhaps some of the less expected features of globalisation of the world economy.

    At the eighth congress of the World Federation of Public Health Associations last October in Arusha, Tanzania, a recurring theme was the advance of globalisation and its adverse effects on health.5 Professor Kris …

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