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October 26, 1957


JAMA. 1957;165(8):954. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980260040009

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ONE OF the items of federal medical spending included in the A. M. A. Washington Letter last year was that of international health. The total figure was estimated to be around 50 million dollars annually, with two-thirds of these funds allocated to the International Cooperation Administration. It is this semiautonomous unit within the U. S. Department of State that administers the majority of our foreign medical programs. While 30 million dollars is a great deal of money, health programs use less than 2% of all foreign aid funds, which include both military and economic aid. The recent foreign aid discussions in Congress provide the opportunity for a nonpartisan review of that portion of our Mutual Security Program concerned with health.

Just 15 years ago, the United States and the country of Ecuador agreed on attempting a joint health program, emphasizing environmental sanitation. This was the beginning of technical cooperation in

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