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Urbanization — An Emerging Humanitarian Disaster

agosto 21, 2009

“In 2008, the proportion of the world’s population living in urban areas crossed the 50% mark… Most observers believe that essentially all population growth from now on will be in cities: the urban population is projected to grow to 4.9 billion by 2030, increasing by 1.6 billion while the rural population shrinks by 28 million.1

This transition is happening chaotically, resulting in a disorganized urban landscape. Although many expect urbanization to mean an improved quality of life, this rising tide does not lift all boats, and many poor people are rapidly being absorbed into urban slums. Urbanization, in fact, is a health hazard for certain vulnerable populations, and this demographic shift threatens to create a humanitarian disaster. The threat comes both in the form of rising rates of endemic disease and a greater potential for epidemics and even pandemics. To protect global health, governments and international agencies need to make commensurate shifts in planning and programs, basing all changes on solid epidemiologic and operational research.” – parte de “Urbanization — An Emerging Humanitarian Disaster“, por Ronak B. Patel, M.D., M.P.H., y Thomas F. Burke, M.D, The New England Journal of Medicine, agosto 2009.

 

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