Peace through health?

Authored by: Neil Arya

Handbook of Peace and Conflict Studies

Print publication date:  February  2007
Online publication date:  March  2007

Print ISBN: 9780415396653
eBook ISBN: 9780203089163
Adobe ISBN: 9781134154814


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War and violence are known to have a devastating effect on human health and well-being. Project Ploughshares (1996) estimates at least 110 million deaths from war in the last century (Elliot 1972). Each year over 1.6 million people worldwide lose their lives to direct violence, which is among the leading causes of death for people aged 15–44 years worldwide, accounting for 14 per cent of deaths among males and 7 per cent of deaths among females (Krug et al. 2002). Garfield and Neugut (1997) suggest that the percentage of civilians killed due to war has increased from 14 per cent during the First World War to 75 per cent during the 1980s and to even 90 per cent in some conflicts taking place during the 1990s. By 2020, the World Health Organization and the World Bank predict that war will be the eighth leading cause of disability and death (Murray and Lopez 1996). For every person who dies as a result of such violence, many more are injured and suffer from a range of physical and mental health problems.

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