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The World Health Report 2003

Shaping the Future


This publication explores key world health challenges and trends and examines the major health gains that are possible in the coming years through a concerted action programme for global health improvement. The 2003 report affirms that the primary task is to close the gap in health provision and inequalities, building on past experience and achievements. The report highlights the need for stronger health systems based on primary health care. Issues discussed include: the progress towards the Millennium Health Goals; the response to the HIV/AIDS global epidemic; activities regarding polio eradication; the lessons from the SARS outbreak; and the growing but often neglected health threats posed by cardiovascular disease, smoking and the need for tobacco control, and road safety hazards.