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The World in Medicine
January 21, 2004

World Health Report

JAMA. 2004;291(3):291. doi:10.1001/jama.291.3.291-a

A deadly overlap between infectious diseases such as AIDS and noncommunicable diseases and injuries is occurring throughout developing countries, leading to a "crisis of priorities for health systems already struggling with inadequate resources," the World Health Organization (WHO) said in its annual report (available online at

To respond to such challenges, health care systems must be strengthened, the agency said. "The most critical issue facing health care systems is the shortage of people who make them work," the report noted. "It severely constrains the response to the AIDS treatment emergency and the development of health systems driven primarily by primary health care, even as AIDS reduces the available workforce."

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