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Croat Med J. 2002 Apr;43(2):114-6.

Health and peace.


Health and peace are closely linked. One cannot have one without the other. Although health and peace are desirable conditions, we human beings often thwart our best intentions to achieve and maintain them. War has profound impacts on human health. In addition to direct consequences, including the fact that 90% of all deaths related to recent wars were among civilians, war has several indirect consequences, including long-term physical and psychological adverse health effects, damage to the social fabric and infrastructure of society, displacement of people, damage to the environment, drainage of human, financial, and other resources away from public health and other socially productive activities, and fostering of a culture of violence. Many public health issues can be both a consequence and a cause of war, including infectious diseases, mental health disorders, vulnerability of population groups, disparities in health status within and among countries, and weakening of human rights. We, health professionals, can promote peace in many ways and facilitate this work by demonstrating our values, vision, and leadership.

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