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See Inside September 2005

Public Health in Transition

Chronic disorders such as heart disease and diabetes, once common only in the industrial nations, are now sweeping the rest of the globe. Meanwhile the threat of infectious diseases still looms large. New public health priorities are urgently needed

Not long ago Stephen Lewis, United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, toured Zimbabwe. He stopped by an elementary school and asked the children what most troubled them. Their answers were revealing for their bleakness: seven out of 10 replied, "Death."

Lewis then traveled to Zambia, where he saw fields of cabbages. He asked the villagers whether they had enough to eat. "Yes," they told him, "we even have cabbages to sell." "What do you do with your profits?" he asked. "We buy coffins," they replied.

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