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Ratifying health treaties does nothing for health.

Countries that ratify human rights treaties that promise to improve health do not see an increase in life expectancy in their populations. Edwards Mills of the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS in Vancouver, Canada, analysed health indices in 170 countries. 65% had signed six treaties that included sections on improving health, but this made no difference to the countries' scores on four key measures of health: maternal mortality, infant and child mortality and life expectancy. In many countries nothing had improved even 10 years after ratification.

The team found that the only thing that brought good health was economic development, and they suggest that financial aid and an independent monitoring body are needed to realise the treaties' health aims.

Lancet 2009; 373: 1987.
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Title Annotation:Single Suture
Publication:CME: Your SA Journal of CPD
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Jul 1, 2009
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