|[Preface]. This second volume of Health Conditions in the Americas, 1981-1984 presents individual country evaluations of the general context of health—social, political, and economic factors, demography, and mortality—the health situation, and national resources available for preventive and curative health care. As such, it serves to complement the regional analysis provided in Volume I of this publication. Each PAHO country office in the Region was requested to prepare, for inclusion in this report, an evaluation of the health conditions in the respective country, using the best available information. As it turned out, that information proved to be so rich that not all of it could be accommodated here, and considerable editing was necessary in order to present the major aspects of the countries' health situations in a volume of reasonable size. Because many sources of information were used in preparing the country reports, the reader may encounter unresolved discrepancies between data reported in the regional analysis and the annex tables (Volume I) and those reported in these individual country narratives. While minor discrepancies are to be expected when dealing with multiple data sources, some major inconsistencies are causes for concern; however, it is hoped that they may prompt opportunities for reassessing and consolidating national data on health and the process for their production. In their entirety, these country reports present the complex epidemiological mosaic that is the health status of the peoples of the Americas. No longer are the developing countries' health profiles so completely dominated by infectious diseases. As populations grow older and massive urbanization takes place, new public health problems emerge, including chronic debilitating diseases and environmental threats to health. At the same time, some major infectious disease problems such as malaria, gastrointestinal illness, and acute respiratory infections persist. The analyses in the country reports document these changes and the progress achieved so far in the individual and collective health profile of this Region; moreover, they present clearly some of the major challenges for public health still facing the countries of the Americas.