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Indian Journal of Medical Sciences
Medknow Publications on behalf of Indian Journal of Medical Sciences Trust
ISSN: 0019-5359 EISSN: 1998-3654
Vol. 58, Num. 4, 2004, pp. 174-175

Indian Journal of Medical Science Vol. 58 No. 4, April 2004 , pp. 174-175

Book Review

Code Number: ms04031

The burden of musculoskeletal conditions at the start of the new millennium

Report of a WHO Scientific Group

World Health Organization, Technical Report Series, No. 919 2003, x + 218 pages [English] ISBN 92 4 120919 4 Swiss francs 35.-/US $31.50. In developing counSwiss francs 24.50 Order no. 1100919

Musculoskeletal conditions are extremely common and include more than 150 different diseases and syndromes, which are usually associated with pain and loss of function. In the developed world, where these conditions are already the most frequent cause of physical disability, ageing of the most populous demographic groups will further increase the burden these conditions impose. In the developing world, successful care of childhood and communicable diseases and an increase in road traffic accidents is shifting the burden of musculoskeletal and other noncommunicable conditions.

To help better prepare nations for the increase in disability brought about by musculoskeletal conditions, a Scientific Group meeting was held to map out the burden of the most prominent musculoskeletal conditions.

In particular, the Group gathered data on the incidence and prevalence of rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, major limb trauma, and spinal disorders. Data was collected and organized by world region, gender, and age groups to assist with the ongoing WHO Global Burden of Disease 2000 study.

The Group also considered what is known about the severity and course of these conditions, along with their economic impact. The most relevant domains to assess and monitor the consequences of these conditions were identified and used to describe health states for the different stages of the conditions. Instruments that measure these most important domains for the different conditions were recommended.

It is clear from data collated that the impact from musculoskeletal conditions and trauma varies among different parts of the world and is influenced by social structure, expectation and economics, and that it is most difficult to measure impact in less developed nations where the predicted increase is greatest.

Food and Health in Europe: A new basis for action

Edited by Aileen Robertson, Cristina Tirado, Tim Lobstein, Marco Jermini, Cecile Knai, J.orgen H. Jensen, Anna Ferro-Luzzi and W.P.T. James
WHO Regional Office for Europe, Copenhagen

WHO Regional Publications, European Series, No. 96 2004, xvi + 388 pages [English; Russian in preparation] ISBN 92 890 1363 X Swiss francs 100. /US $90.00. In developing countries: Swiss francs 70.­Order No. 1310096

Countries need a review of the scientific evidence to develop integrated and comprehensive national policies on food and nutrition. This book fills that need, providing a comprehensive, in-depth analysis of the data on nutritional health, foodborne disease, and food safety and public health concerns about the supply and security of food in Europe. Aimed at health professionals, this publication aims to strengthen their capacity as an efficient investment in improving public health in Europe. It highlights the urgent need for integrated, multisectoral food and nutrition policies to encourage the sustainable production of food, safe food production and the provision of food of high nutritional quality.

Poor nutrition, foodborne disease and lack of secure access to good food make an important contribution to the burden of disease and mortality in the WHO European Region. Better diets, food safety and food security will not only reduce or prevent suffering to individuals and societies but also help cut costs to health care systems and bring social and economic benefits to countries.

People's chances for a healthy diet depend less on individual choices than on what food is available and whether it is affordable. Policies to benefit health through good food and nutrition must extend beyond the health sector to include sectors ranging from agriculture and food processing, manufacturing and trade to transport, retailing, catering and advertising. Food and nutrition policies should be coordinated so that public health is given due priority in the making of food policies by non-health sectors.

Vaccines: Preventing Disease And Protecting Health

Mylena Pinzon, PAHO Publications Program, 525, 23rd Street NW, Washington DC 20037 (202) 974-3049.

Vaccines: Preventing Disease and Protecting Health celebrates the various ways vaccines have played a role in improving the health of the world's populations. In early sections, the book relates successful efforts to fight diseases with vaccines, including the eradication of polio from the Americas and the potential contribution of new measles vaccine formulations to reducing measles mortality worldwide. It also looks at the challenges posed in using vaccines to cope with emerging and re-emerging diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and bioterrorism.

In subsequent sections, the authors examine innovative efforts underway to test the efficacy of vaccines against diseases such as meningococcal infection in Africa, Haemophilus influenza type b, varicella, and hepatitis A, and look at efforts to develop a new generation of vaccines against cholera and typhoid, shigella, and Helicobacter pylori. The advances in influenza vaccine development and hepatitis C are also presented.

The book includes sections on the quest for vaccines against tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, dengue, malaria, and hookworm.

New concepts for vaccine development, adjuvants and delivery systems such as maternal immunization, DNA vaccines; and oral vaccines derived from transgenic plants are also discussed. Later sections deal with the use of vaccines against potential bioterrorism attacks, with a particular emphasis on smallpox and anthrax. Regulatory and safety issues related to vaccines are also presented from the various perspectives of the public sector, the pharmaceutical industry, and the vaccine consumer. The final chapter highlights the ongoing challenges of vaccine development, disease prevention, internal and external financing and sustainability of immunization programs, and the impact of health sector reform on these issues.

The roster of authors reads like a "Who's Who" in public health and in vaccine development and use. They are breaking new ground in vaccines and immunization programs, bringing the promise of health to the world's populations.

Copyright by The Indian Journal of Medical Sciences

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