Friday, February 11, 2011

Health and Urban Poverty

Meeting the Health Challenge of Urban Poverty and Slums (62 minute streaming video, Woodrow Wilson Center, Jul. 20, 2010)

Also discussed here: Urbanization and Health: challenges and promises (23 slide pdf, Woodrow Wilson Center's Environmental Change and Security Program, Jul. 20, 2010)

Today’s review article looks at the health challenges of the urban poor, noting that this is likely to grow as urban populations grow from 50% of the world’s population to 70 % in the next 40 years. Poorer areas of individual cities are more likely to suffer from more pollution of the air and water in particular, as well as cities in poorer countries in warmer climates. Also of note is the need to look at individual city characteristics and requirements rather than acting on general assumptions.

Key Quotes:

“170 million urban residents currently do not have access to a latrine and over 1.2 million people will die from urban air pollution this year.”

“While urban centers have the most hospitals and attract many of the best doctors, the hospitals are often not managed or governed well. As a result, many urbanites suffer worse health care than their rural neighbors.”

“as the world transforms from a rural to an urban planet, it is essential for emerging and growing cities to use successful urban development examples from both the Global North and the South.”

“you’ve got to do analytical work to see what the problems are in each city and to look not at the averages but to unmask the differentials.”
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