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Reducing health inequalities in developing countries 

Reducing health inequalities in developing countries
Reducing health inequalities in developing countries

Hoosen Coovadia

and Irwin Friedman

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date: 16 May 2022

This chapter builds on the three major themes of the conclusions and recommendations of the World Health Organization Commission for Social Determinants of Health in 2008, which aims to reduce the gaps between rich and poor and develop equity in health outcomes: (1) improving daily living conditions, (2) tackling the inequitable distribution of resources, and (3) measuring and understanding the problem and assessing the impact of action. The scientific evidence and actions to be taken to reduce inequities for key issues within each of these themes are presented. The link and graded association between socioeconomic status and health, and the connections between disparities in diseases and health inequities, are emphasized. The chapter alludes to indices to measure health inequities, and briefly describes progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). National Health Insurance and Universal Coverage schemes are being introduced in developing countries, and increasingly advancing progress towards equity in health. These changes are illustrated by describing conditions in South Africa, Syria, Thailand, India, Mexico and Brazil. Global initiatives to promote health equity in developing countries conclude this chapter.

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