Public Health in the Middle East and North Africa documents the main highlights and findings from the Middle East Regional Symposium, 'Meeting the Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century in the Middle East and North Africa/Eastern Mediterranean Region", held in Beirut in June 2002. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is currently undergoing both epidemiological and demographical transitions which are resulting in changing patterns of mortality and morbidity. Chronic and non-communicable diseases and injuries now account for a growing share of the overall burden of ill health. Countries of the region are faced with the challenge of addressing these emerging issues while at the same time trying to complete the unfinished agenda of addressing diseases and protecting the health of mothers and children. Addressing public health in the MENA region requires both national and regional actions and the symposium provided a unique opportunity for effective transfer of knowledge and exchange of information among major stakeholders. Documenting the key regional public health challenges and the findings of the symposium, Public Health in the Middle East and North Africa serves as a means to stimulate further dialogue and policy actions on critical issues of public health importance to the region.
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