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October 24/31, 2007

Microfinance Programs and Better Health: Prospects for Sub-Saharan Africa

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Rural AIDS & Development Action Research Programme, School of Public Health, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa (Drs Pronyk and Hargreaves); London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, England (Drs Pronyk and Hargreaves); and Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, New York University, New York (Dr Morduch).

JAMA. 2007;298(16):1925-1927. doi:10.1001/jama.298.16.1925

Although social gradients in morbidity and mortality from scrofula, rickets, and scarlet fever were noticed in England as early as 1845,1 current understanding of the relationship between poverty and ill health is still evolving. A detailed examination of the social determinants of health is the current focus of a World Health Organization Commission,2 and a global agenda that addresses the overlapping vulnerabilities of poverty, social exclusion, and health recently has been articulated in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) framework.3