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Pediatrics. 2003 Sep;112(3 Part 2):739-41.

Inequity in child health as a global issue.

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Department of Community Paediatrics, Newcastle General Hospital, Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom.


Poverty, violence, lack of education, abuse and exploitation, and refugee status are among the primary determinants of the health of children worldwide. There are 1.3 billion people living on less than 1 US dollars per day. Half the world's population, 3 billion people, live on less than 1.30 US dollars per day. Of the 4.4 billion people who live in developing countries, 60% lack access to sanitation, 33% lack clean water, 20% have no health care, and 20% do not have enough dietary energy and protein.(1) The world's 225 richest people have a combined wealth equivalent to the annual income of the poorest 2.5 billion people, nearly half of the world's population.(1) This article describes a number of the social, political, and environmental factors impacting children in the developing (southern hemisphere) world and how these are affected by actions taken in the developed (northern hemisphere) world.

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