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Lancet. 2017 Feb 4;389(10068):547-558. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31650-6. Epub 2016 Oct 16.

The history, geography, and sociology of slums and the health problems of people who live in slums.

Author information

1
African Population and Health Research Centre, Manga Cl, Nairobi, Kenya; School of Public Health, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa.
2
Warwick Centre for Applied Health Research and Delivery, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.
3
International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK.
4
Global Urban Observatory Research and Capacity Development Branch, United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN Avenue Gigiri, UN Complex, GPO Nairobi, Kenya.
5
African Population and Health Research Centre, Manga Cl, Nairobi, Kenya.
6
School of Medicine, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil.
7
United Nations University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
8
Warwick Centre for Applied Health Research and Delivery, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK. Electronic address: r.j.lilford@warwick.ac.uk.

Abstract

Massive slums have become major features of cities in many low-income and middle-income countries. Here, in the first in a Series of two papers, we discuss why slums are unhealthy places with especially high risks of infection and injury. We show that children are especially vulnerable, and that the combination of malnutrition and recurrent diarrhoea leads to stunted growth and longer-term effects on cognitive development. We find that the scientific literature on slum health is underdeveloped in comparison to urban health, and poverty and health. This shortcoming is important because health is affected by factors arising from the shared physical and social environment, which have effects beyond those of poverty alone. In the second paper we will consider what can be done to improve health and make recommendations for the development of slum health as a field of study.

PMID:
27760703
DOI:
10.1016/S0140-6736(16)31650-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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