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Building health security in an era of globalization:
What we can learn about local capacity from Cuba and Ecuador
Apr
24
2007
April 24, 2007 12:00 AM
With similar GDPs and populations, Ecuador and Cuba present a world of contrasts! Despite the World Bank’s continued emphasis on economic growth being a prime determinant of improving health and reducing poverty, empirical evidence suggests ot
 
With similar GDPs and populations, Ecuador and Cuba present a world of contrasts! Despite the World Bank’s continued emphasis on economic growth being a prime determinant of improving health and reducing poverty, empirical evidence suggests other factors such as the strength of national and local institutions may be more significant in producing positive results. Over the 1990’s, amid serious economic decline prompted by the collapse of its Soviet Bloc trading partners, Cuba actually improved life expectancy and infant/child mortality. Ecuador, despite significant export-driven growth, continued to maintain pronounced health insecurities, among the worst in Latin America. Through a program of research in both countries examining how health determinants (primarily those related to environmental factors, e .g. dengue, water and sanitation, pesticides) and health systems are being managed at the community and national levels, I am examining the policies that can produce good health; how evidence can be successfully applied; and how institutional strengthening can occur, with special attention to how global interactions (e.g. tourism expansion, trade, debt) can affect these capacities. The session will report on the studies completed and underway – as well as the vision being pursued. Jerry Spiegel is Director of the Liu Institute's Global Health Research Program and Director of the UBC Centre for International Health. He is Past President of the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research.
  Location:
Boardroom, Liu Institute for Global Issues
April 2007
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