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From 20–24 September the XVIIIth International Epidemiological Association World Congress of Epidemiology will be held in Porto Alegre, Brazil in association with the Brazilian Congress of Epidemiology. Over 5000 people are expected to participate, in what will be the largest epidemiological gathering in the world. In this month’s editorial, Neal Pearce, elected president of the International Epidemiological Association, calls to our attention the fact that“Few “Western” epidemiologists have been aware of the developments in epidemiology in Latin America in the last two decades which have paralleled the return of democracy across the continent”, and presents the Congress as a unique opportunity for the start of a global dialogue among epidemiologists (page 762). In Speaker’s corner Camargo Jr maintains the focus on Latin America, discussing the Brazilian National Health Care System, SUS, which is based on the principle that health is a constitutional right and has a key role in stimulating democratic participation in the public policy arena (page 763).

In their review, Bambra and colleagues show that while there is …

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