Summary of Reports on the Health Conditions in the Americas 1950-1953
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[Preface]. For planning of health programs in the Americas, measurement of the problems is essential. Progress in health work requires basic information regarding the population being served, the health conditions in the countries, and the medical resources and needs. This principle has been recognized by the provisions of the Pan American Sanitary Code and the Constitution of the Pan American Sanitary Organization for the exchange of information regarding the prevention of disease and preservation o f health in the Western Hemisphere. Future progress depends in large part on measurement of the problems by the provision of accurate data for coordinated health planning. In accordance with the Constitution of the Pan American Sanitary Organization and Resolution XXIII of the VII Meeting of the Directing Council, each member country and territory was asked to complete a four-year report on health conditions preferably of a statistical nature for the XIV Pan American Sanitary Conference to be held in Santiago, Chile in October, 1954. The reports received from the countries usually had two parts, one giving statistical data for the 4 years, 1950-1953, and the other containing a narrative account of health conditions and progress made in the countries. In order that the statistical data provided by the countries would be readily available for the discussions at the Conference and for coordinated health planning, the data have been combined into a consolidated report which was released in October, 1954. In addition to the material released in the document Summary of Reports of the Member States, 1950-1953 of the XIV Pan American Sanitary Conference, data were subsequently received from Puerto Rico, from nearly all of the territories and from Canada for incorporation into this final publication. Also minor corrections and additions were submitted by some of the governments in order that this publication would be complete. Thus this report contains all available information for the American Hemisphere. Although there are differences in methods of reporting, registration of vital events and tabulations of data and also in the completeness of the data in the various areas, this basic information has unusual value for knowledge of American health and for planning the solution of specific problems. In this report many of our health problems are defined; those needing an immediate coordinated attack are evident. The importance of improving these basic data for planning local, national and international health programs is also apparent from a critical appraisal of this material. In this report the data are presented as given by the National Health Administrations of the countries. These Four-Year Reports were not concerned with technical details regarding definitions of vital events and methods of collection of data. For information regarding definitions and procedures, the individual vital statistics reports published by these areas should be used. Also the Demographic Yearbook of United Nations gives explanations of technical problems involved in releasing comparable vital statistical data...This publication is a revision of Document CSP14/17, which was released on September 10, 1954 and was originally distributed as a document of the Pan American Sanitary Conference (Santiago, Chile, October 1954).
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