Views & Reviews In and Out of Hospital

Alma-Ata no more

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 18 November 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2613
  1. James Owen Drife, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology, Leeds
  1. J.O.Drife{at}

    Almaty, capital of Kazakhstan until 1998 and the country’s largest city, is about seven hours from Heathrow: a meal, two in-flight movies, and a snack. It lies in a beautiful setting beside mountains on the country’s southern border. Until 1993 it was called Alma-Ata, a Russian mistranslation meaning “father of apples.”

    Sitting there last week, I wondered whether the big sanatorium that housed our WHO meeting had been the scene of the Alma-Ata Declaration 30 years ago, something I …

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