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HABITAT – Hidden Cities: Unmasking and Overcoming Health Inequities

March 22, 2011 Leave a comment

Hidden Cities: Unmasking and Overcoming Health Inequities in Urban Settings. 2010.

Download Full-text

HABITAT.

This publication is one important component of the overall WHO strategy to strengthen the response of the local, national and global health communities to reduce health inequities in an increasingly urbanized world. The report exposes the extent to which the urban poor suffer disproportionately from a wide range of diseases and health problems, which can be traced back to inequalities in their social and living conditions.

It also provides evidence-based information and tools to help municipal and health authorities tackle health inequities in their cities. The case for action is juxtaposed with personal stories and photos illustrating the issues of urban health equity in five countries. Stories of municipal and national authorities who are taking action to reduce inequities also are featured.

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IIED – Groundwater, self-supply and poor urban dwellers

November 19, 2010 Leave a comment

Groundwater, self-supply and poor urban dwellers: A review with case studies of Bangalore and Lusaka, November 2010.

Full-text: http://www.iied.org/pubs/pdfs/10584IIED.pdf (pdf, 1MB)

Jenny T. Grönwall, Martin Mulenga, Gordon McGranahan

An estimated 800 million urban dwellers lack access to safe and adequate drinking water. Most of those people live in unplanned, low-income areas and slums. The vital role of groundwater for this group remains largely unexplored despite that some 50 per cent of all urban water use worldwide is attributed to well, spring and borehole sources. None of these numbers have been broken down to show whether and how the dependency on groundwater is divided between rich and poor, however. There are reasons to believe that people living in informal settlements and slums resort to using groundwater to a larger degree than those connected to public utilities’ water supply networks.

This review seeks to shed light on why and to what extent people in urban poor areas use groundwater for drinking and other domestic purposes; strategies employed to access the water; the implications of the dependence on groundwater; and what this should mean in terms of policy and regulation. It contains two case studies – of the cities of Bangalore, India, and Lusaka, Zambia – in order to substantiate the limited amount of statistics and literature in the field.

An update on the Global Forum on Urbanization and Health

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

An update on the Global Forum on Urbanization and Health from Richard Bradford

15 November 2010 – Around 300 people from more than 90 countries reached Portopia Hotel for start of the Global Forum on Urbanization and Health today. Over 50 ministers, mayors and other dignitaries are in attendance. The forum opened with a performance of traditional Japanese instruments, the shamisen and the tsutsumi drum. In welcome remarks, Kobe mayor Tatsuo Yada expressed his city’s readiness to cooperate with other cities around the world in addressing health and urbanization. Next, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare Permanent Secretary Mitsunori Okamoto endorsed the forum’s focus on intersectoral action to improve health in cities. WHO Western Pacific Regional Director Shin Young-Soo reiterated that one billion people live in appalling conditions and that a major factor is unplanned urbanization, leading to major health problems.

African Union Commission for Social Affairs, Bience Gawanas was keynote speaker of the first plenary, setting the scene for the forum with an overview of the health challenges facing cities today. Gawanas challenged participants by asking, “When people come to the city, are they valued?”

Eight focus sessions were held discussing infectious and noncommunicable disease, climate change, urban environmental health threats, evidence, “cleaner and greener” urban services, disaster risks, health systems and health in slums.

Shen Xiaoming, the Vice Mayor of Shanghai was keynote speaker for the second plenary, giving a detailed overview of the city’s progressive plans for public health and presenting a futuristic and inspiring film about Shanghai’s hi-tech vision of health services in 2015.

The day ended with a special meeting on intersectoral action on health and an evening session where delegates heard about the health initiatives in cities from El Paso, Texas to Windhoek, Namibia. Dr. Vlahov from the New York Academy of Medicine moderated this session leading conference participants through the award winning presentations.

Alex Rothman, Coordinator
International Society for Urban Health
The New York Academy of Medicine
Email: arothman@nyam.org

Code Red presentation at ICUH 2010

November 2, 2010 Leave a comment

NEW YORK Code Red’s message has gone from Hamilton to Manhattan.

Spectator investigative reporter Steve Buist and Neil Johnston, a health researcher affiliated with McMaster University, presented results from their Code Red series Thursday and Friday at the ninth annual International Conference on Urban Health in New York City.

The conference featured more than 700 presentations from academic researchers spanning the globe.

The Spectator’s innovative Code Red health mapping project showed the strong connections that exist between health and poverty in Hamilton, broken down to the level of neighbourhoods.

Read more…

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A Compendium on Health of Urban Poor in South East Asia

October 18, 2010 Leave a comment

A Compendium on Health of Urban Poor in South East Asia: Abstracts of Select Papers and Reports, 2010.

Full-text: http://www.uhrc.in/downloads/Hlth_Urban_PoorSEAsia.pdf

Urban Health Resource Center, New Delhi.

This report analyzes health and living conditions in eight large Indian cities (Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Indore, Kolkata, Meerut, Mumbai, and Nagpur). The study examines the living environment, socioeconomic characteristics of households and the population, children’s living arrangements, children’s work, the health and nutrition of children and adults, fertility and family planning, utilization of maternal health services, knowledge of HIV/AIDS, attitudes of adults toward schools providing family life education for children, and other important aspects of urban life for the eight cities by slum/non-slum residence and for the urban poor.

The analysis shows that more than half of the population in Mumbai lives in slums, whereas the slum population varies widely in the other seven cities. The analysis finds that a substantial proportion of the poor population does not live in slums and that a substantial proportion of slum dwellers are not poor (that is, they do not fall into the bottom quartile on the NFHS-3 wealth index). In some cities, the poor are mostly concentrated in slum areas, whereas the reverse is true in other cities.

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International Conference on Urban Health, October 27-29, NY

August 31, 2010 Leave a comment

The principal theme to be addressed at the Ninth International Conference on Urban Health, Oct 27-29, 2010in New York City will be good governance for healthy cities, with special interest in the positive consequences in urban health interventions, as well as the social and public health policies that are required to address these issues.

The conference will address how governments can develop and implement policy that improves the health of all urban residents and reduces urban inequities. Although governance and health are the focus, these issues will be examined in a multitude of sectors: health services, violence and security, transportation and injuries, housing and infrastructure, neighborhoods and the urban environment, reproductive and maternal child health, the social determinants of health, substance use and homeless populations, and still others.

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Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)

August 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) is a not-for-profit partnership between development NGOs and the private sector.

It is supported by academia and a pool of specialists, which represents a unique approach by engaging utilities, municipalities, governments, businesses and communities to achieve real, meaningful and practical solutions to the urban water sanitation problem.

WSUP works with and is guided by local service providers, providing specialised assistance in addressing this complex challenge. Its members and partners each contribute their particular skills and experience, pooling their strengths for greater effectiveness and reach.

Website – http://www.wsup.com/

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