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The World in Medicine
September 11, 2002

Dual Threats in Southern Africa

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JAMA. 2002;288(10):1226. doi:10.1001/jama.288.10.1226-JWM20009-2-1

Some 12 million to 14 million people in Southern African are at heightened risk owing to a devastating combination of continuing food shortages and deteriorating health conditions, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned last month. Malnutrition, along with a long-term deterioration in health services and a raging HIV/AIDS epidemic, will cause an enormous loss of life unless food aid and basic medical care are provided, the agency said.

"Weakened by hunger, many people will die of diseases" they could have survived if properly nourished, said WHO Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland. "We fear there could be at least 300 000 ‘extra' deaths in the next 6 months because of this crisis."

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