Public health impact of climate change, poverty, disaster response and housing design

NEW YORK, May 21 -- Leading global experts provide insight into protecting public health and promoting health equity in urban settings in a supplement to the May/June 2007 issue of The New York Academy of Medicine's Journal of Urban Health. The 15 reports in the supplement were issued by the Knowledge Network on Urban Settings of the World Health Organization's (WHO) Commission on the Social Determinants of Health.

Highlights of the supplement, entitled "Achieving Health Equity in Urban Settings," include reports regarding the influence of climate change on health status, the post-disaster response in Indonesia, and improvements needed to the design of housing and shelter programs in developing countries. Experts from the WHO, Pan American Health Organization, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and major research institutions including the Academy are among the authors.

"Achieving health equity in the urban setting requires action toward fairness and equity within and between countries. Engaging the people themselves, urban communities and multiple sectors in the urban development process is a must," explains Tord Kjellstrom, BMed, MEng, PhD, coauthor of the supplement's editorial. Kjellstrom is a professor at the National Institute of Public Health in Sweden and at the Health and Environment International Trust in New Zealand, and a visiting fellow with the National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health of the Australian National University.

The supplement's 15 papers were originally presented at a meeting of Knowledge Network on Urban Settings (KNUS) in November 2006 in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania, which was attended by practitioners, policymakers, community-based organizations, researchers and WHO regional representatives. The WHO's Centre for Health Development, based in Kobe, Japan, the KNUS hub, is part of a larger effort to identify opportunities for WHO to improve action on social determi

Contact: Kathryn Cervino
New York Academy of Medicine

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