The value of health: a history of the Pan American Health Organization
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[Introduction]. This work, written during the course of 2003, is based on a review of a series of publications, historic archives, and interviews. Other studies in connection with the recent celebration of the Organization’s 100th anniversary have given us very valuable information on PAHO’s specific role in certain countries. The histories of international health efforts in the twentieth century and the social histories of Latin American and Caribbean medicine have also been perused in order to adequately highlight the issues that were pivotal to understanding economic and political motives, the level of development of health interventions and technologies, and the processes that led to general acceptance of these policies and interventions. The chapters of this book also emphasize the activities of the Organization and of the Pan American Sanitary Bureau’s first Directors: Walter Wyman, Rupert Blue, Hugh S. Cumming, and Fred L. Soper of the United States of America, and Abraham Horwitz of Chile. Not only are there clear and ordered—albeit sometimes incomplete—historical sources and testimony, but there has emerged, over time, a sharper perspective on the personalities of these men and the challenges they faced. While details of the libraries and archives consulted are found at the beginning of this book’s bibliography, the principal archives consulted are discussed below to give the reader an idea of the richness and diversity of this work, as well as its possible limitations.
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