The world context of education for equity . . .

Linda Purrington (
Wed, 20 May 1998 14:41:27 -0700

Found this on Reuters--a reminder of the world context for education
everywhere. LP

LONDON (May 8, 1998)
Doctors warned on Friday that the world is facing a health
crisis that could endanger the achievements of the past three
decades. In a letter to the British Medical Journal, a group of
international physicians called for new approaches to tackle
poverty -- what they call the world's No. 1 health problem.

"We have to accept that we can no longer deal with health while
ignoring poverty," said Professor Rodrigo Guerrero of the
School of Public Health at the Universidad del Valle in Cali,

"We are convinced that a new approach -- not the traditional,
purely medical one -- can go a long way, rapidly, toward
improving the health of hundreds of millions of fellow humans."

Guerrero and colleagues in Switzerland, Britain, Kenya and the
United States cited poverty as the reason why babies are not
vaccinated, why clean water and adequate sanitation are not
available to hundreds of millions of people, why life-saving
drugs are not accessible and why 600,000 women die,
unnecessarily, in childbirth each year.

"The number of people living in absolute poverty -- earning
less than $370 a year -- has more than doubled since 1975 and
now stands at 1.3 billion. Seven out of 10 of these are women,"
they said.

The doctors, from the World Health Organization, universities,
public health agencies and non-governmental organizations, have
first-hand experience of poverty from working in Africa, Asia
and Latin America in the past 15 years and in the inner cities
of developed countries in Europe and North America.

They said priority should be given to funding the health care
system at community and district level. But rich nations have
reduced their development aid to poor countries which has
resulted in less money for health systems precisely when more
is needed.

"Peoples and their leaders must now be reminded that health is
the responsibility of society as a whole and not merely that of
the medical establishment," they said.

"To put it simply, there will be no lasting prosperity for the
people of any country if public health is looked on as a
secondary beneficiary of economic prosperity."<<

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