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Public health in low- and middle-income countries and the clash of cultures
  1. K S Jacob
  1. Professor K S Jacob, Christian Medical College, Vellore 632002 India; ksjacob{at}

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Health and public health are on the international agenda and are now seen as imperatives for development. Despite significant advances in some low- and middle-income countries (LAMICs), much needs to be done in many nations.1 2 Some issues are highlighted here.

There is strong evidence to link health to the social and economic environment and longevity to improved living standards.3 4 Many inputs—political, financial, social, cultural, engineering, science, educational, religious and legal in addition to medical—are part of efforts to improve population health. The public health perspective draws on a wide variety of disciplines and consequently is not a discipline in the traditional sense.

The context of public health in LAMICs differs markedly from the social, economic and political environment …

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  • Competing interests: None.