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Public Health in the Arab World

Dr. Samer Jabbour, lead editor and book project coordinator, and Dr. Sameen Siddiqi, one of the contributors, will be visiting Imperial College London to launch Public Health in the Arab World. Joined by Professor Salman Rawaf, also one of the contributors, of Imperial College London’s Department of Primary Care and Public Health and the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education & Training, they will present and discuss the book’s “story”. The book launch will tkae place at 2pm on Friday 14 September 2012 in Lecture Theatre 1.47, Royal School of Mines Building, South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London.

No region has changed as radically as the Arab world in the past 18 months. Current developments are altering the public health landscape, but the full impact will take years to unfold. Popular uprisings have exposed important social issues: unemployment, exclusion, and poor social services, including poor health services. These are key social determinants of health for which public health needs to engage.

Relying heavily on a social determinants approach, Public Health in the Arab World (Cambridge University Press, 2012) covers a broad array of contemporary public health matters aimed at exposing regional differences and similarities. It is the largest international scholarship collaboration on the subject to date. The book treats the Arab world as a unit of analysis, unlike most prior global health literature.

Based on critical scholarship, Public Health in the Arab World examines the diversity of public health approaches and health systems set-ups and discusses investment in public health and health systems. The book also covers new topics such as community resilience and human security. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Najib Mikati called it a “massive accomplishment that fills major information gaps in public health.” The effort drew together 81 authors from multiple continents and backgrounds to write 38 chapters.  It brings a regional voice to international attention.

The book launch will interest researchers, practitioners, and students interested in public health within a social context in the Arab region. Synthesizing a large body of knowledge in an accessible manner, the authors critique and adapt public health concepts, frameworks and paradigms to the context of the Arab world, engaging readers in current debates. This is a valuable addition to the library of anyone interested in global public health and in Arab world studies.

You can read articles published by my research group on topics such as the prevalence of diabetes, quality of care of diabetes, prevalence of risk factors for adverse outcomes in diabetes and the epidemiology of end-stage renal disease in the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.

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