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WHO Slams Global Health Care, Calls For Universal Coverage

Health care disparities make world "neither stable nor secure," WHO director says

Report: 43 percent of women giving birth this year will do so without medical help

Tajikistan, Sierra Leone have 40-year gap in life expectancy despite expenditures

Report applauds Iran, Cuba for finding ways to improve health care

(CNN) -- In a Nairobi slum, more than one in four children under 5 will die, but in a wealthier part of the Kenyan capital, the mortality rate is one in almost 67, according to a World Health Organization report released Tuesday.

The World Health Report 2008 aims to spotlight disparities in health care across the globe, and as the Nairobi example illustrates, the differences exist not only between the First and Third Worlds -- they can occur just across town.

WHO roundly criticizes the organization, finance and delivery of health care and calls advances in the field "deeply and unacceptably unequal, with many disadvantaged populations increasingly lagging behind or even losing ground."

The report says that a citizen of a wealthy nation can live up to 40 years longer than someone in a poor country, and of the 136 million women who will give birth this year, about 58 million (43 percent) will receive no medical assistance during childbirth or the postpartum period.
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