As a final post for 2007, I thought I’d briefly mention some public health/human rights articles or links that I found to be interesting this past year, yet have not written about here yet. For some of these, I had hoped to write specific posts but simply never made the time. I’ll use this chance to briefly highlight just three of those things.
In November 2007, a new report was issued by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, titled, “Public Health: Ethical Issues.” (http://www.nuffieldbioethics.org/go/ourwork/publichealth/introduction)
The report, thoughtful, researched, and well-written, provides a useful framework for thinking about ethical issues in Public Health. In the report, among other things, the authors argue for the use of the “Stewardship Model” in thinking about appropriate interventions to improve population health. It is argued that states have a “duty to look after the important needs of people individually and collectively.” This model also places special emphasis on the needs of the children and other vulnerable populations.
Two other links I found very interesting this year that, not coincidentally, also provide information about vulnerable populations are these two from the World Bank: The Poverty Calculator at http://iresearch.worldbank.org/PovcalNet/jsp/index.jsp and Health, Nutrition, and Population Stats at http://ddp-ext.worldbank.org/ext/DDPQQ/member.do?method=getMembers&userid=1&queryId=181. Both sites provide an interesting array of data with the option to view much of the information in map form. As one intrigued by maps and statistics, these provide a lot of interesting comparisons.
I have always found maps to be very interesting, and I enjoy learning about new maps or new designs for maps. I find it true that maps are often political in nature and nearly always put forth a certain perspective about the area they describe. And, sometimes, as with data or news stories or other articles, it is most interesting to think about what is not being described or about what the current view may hide. For me, the ethics paper and the two World Bank links help me think about things from a different and helpful perspective.
Wishing you a good New Year.