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Part IV. Health Services and Health Policy (Discussions) Part IV. Health Services and Health Policy (Discussions)

BUCK: We sometimes forget that the term etiological refers not only to causes of disease, but to causation in general; that a well-done investigation of factors affecting the outcome of illness or the prevention of disease uses the same rules of inference as an etiological study of disease causation. I realize it is awkward because etiology in most people’s minds means only disease causation, pure and simple. But in terms of science I think we should be right in the way we classify things.

Part III. Etiologic Investigations (Discussions) Part III. Etiologic Investigations (Discussions)

NAJERA: Perhaps we should start by emphasizing the interrelatedness of the factors that cause disease. Today, everybody talks of multicausation, but if you read the studies, most researchers still search for “a cause,” they still think in terms of a single or a few simple causes of disease. They haven’t really begun to understand disease as a result of the interaction of factors working within a real web. It was Mac- Mahon who first talked of a “web of causation,” but too often this is still interpreted as a complicated but linear chain of causation rather than a complicated interrelationship of many factors. A web really means interrelation. I think we have to emphasize this.

Part II. Historical Development (Discussions) Part II. Historical Development (Discussions)

BUCK: The title of this section implies a transition from the “old” to the “new” epidemiology, and I am not exactly sure what we mean by transition. In the first section we discussed early works that represented the old epidemiology. By new do we mean, then, the application of epidemiology to new problems? Perhaps a good beginning for this section would be for us to try and define this transition.

Part I. Historical Development (Discussions) Part I. Historical Development (Discussions)

NAJERA: Perhaps we could begin by exploring why, how, when, and where the concept of epidemiology originated. As far as we know, “epidemic” and “endemic” derived from epidemeion and endemeion. Hippocrates used these words at the School of Cos 2400 years ago, as a way of incorporating a community outlook into the understanding of diseases. Their purpose at that time, and their correct etymology, was to differentiate diseases that visit the community-the verb epidemeion meaning “to visit”-from those that reside in it, without the added meaning of an unusual or severe occurrence. We should, therefore, keep this characteristic of “visitor” in mind, because of its usefulness in creating a methodology for studying health problems in the community.

PAHO and the University of South Florida  offer the course: Health in the Americas PAHO and the University of South Florida offer the course: Health in the Americas

Course Objectives: Based on the 2007 edition of PAHO's Health in the Americas, this course addresses the issue of health as a human right and examines critical determinants of health and disparities that persist in the Region.

PAHO and Epidemiology: Milestones in the Americas PAHO and Epidemiology: Milestones in the Americas

The XVIII World Congress of Epidemiology took place in Porto Alegre, Brazil, from 22 to 24 September, 2008. It was one of the most attended world congresses of Epidemiology in the history of the event, with more than 7,000 participants. On another historical note, it marked the 25th anniversary of the Seminar organized by PAHO in 1983 in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which paved the way towards the future of the practice of epidemiology in the Americas. This year, PAHO is also celebrating the 20 years of the publication “The Challenge of Epidemiology,” an unprecedented contribution of the Organization to public health. 

Noticias sobre Atención Integrada Noticias sobre Atención Integrada

El día 1 de febrero de 2008 asumí mi segundo mandato ante la Organización
Panamericana de la Salud con el mismo entusiasmo del primer día, y con el compromiso de seguir trabajando día a día, y hora a hora por los más vulnerables de la Región. Uno de los aspectos que mencioné en mi discurso de toma de posesión, es la necesidad de propiciar la equidad de acceso y calidad en los servicios de salud para así contribuir a la reducción de las inequidades en la Región. Una de estas inequidades la representa la persistencia de altas tasas de mortalidad neonatal en los países de la Región, y en el interior de los mismos países.

Methods for the prevention and control of obesity and diabetes in the Americas Methods for the prevention and control of obesity and diabetes in the Americas

Obesity and diabetes are affecting the peoples of the Americas at high and increasing rates. National surveys demonstrate that obesity is increasing in prevalence among all age groups. Studies in Chile (2000) and Mexico (2007) have shown that 7% to 12% of children under 5 years old and one-fifth of adolescents are obese (1), while in adults, surveys carried out between 2002 and 2007 in Central America and Belize, for example, have shown rates of overweight and obesity close to 60%. 

Research has demonstrated a strong and consistent link between obesity and diabetes.

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