Geneva—The relationship between poverty and health was the most prominent issue at the World Health Assembly (WHA), held last month. At this annual gathering, their 55th, the 191 member states of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) continued to follow the lead of Director-General Gro Harlem Brundtland in concentrating on a relatively few high priority issues.
While the technology of health care, including prevention and treatment of disease, has improved markedly during the last few years, the poor nations and people of the world have not been able to take advantage of these improvements. In fact, a number of countries, especially those in sub-Saharan Africa, have a worsening health status, owing to the spread of HIV/AIDS as well as other diseases, and local problems such as lack of clean water.
Banta D. Economic Development Key to Healthier World. JAMA. 2002;287(24):3195-3197. doi:10.1001/jama.287.24.3195