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Health initiatives can help peace building in the Middle East

es. From our experience, three essential ingredients for successful cooperation include a focus on common health needs with practical outcomes, a proactive and honest third party broker, and a critical mass of 'bridge builders' in the region who are prepared to get involved. The health sector provides a powerful venue for building international cooperation, trust and confidence. Our ongoing experience and model give direction for health professionals in peace building a primary determinant of global health."

In an accompanying commentary Samer Jabbour (American University of Beirut, Lebanon) raises the question of whether the health initiative reported by Skinner does contribute to peace.

Dr Jabbour states: "Building trust among a limited number of collaborators across lines of conflict is important. But making peace is much more than individual relations. Cooperative efforts must show a broader impact, especially when the politics of cooperation are so daunting, as in this case. A focus on the individual, rather than the collective, might be inadequate, not only in terms of impact but also participation. Although a few people can certainly change the world, only a critical mass of committed doctors with a common agenda can stand a chance in the face of the political deterioration in the Middle East."


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Contact: Joe Santangelo
j.santangelo@elsevier.com
1-212-633-3810
Lancet
25-Jan-2005


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