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Friday, 11 November 2011

Remember Peace as a public health prerequiste

Canada remembers its fallen today.   The gallant efforts of Canadian forces to maintain peace and protect those values that we cherish.  In its most recent mission in Afghanistan, Canada has lost 158 military and 4 non-military brothers and sisters, whose lives deserve rememberance and celebration.
International efforts to maintain peace have often been successful.  This year saw up to 30,000 people die in Libya.  Other hotspots include Afghanistan where in the first 6 months civilian deaths were up nearly 30% over 2010 when at least 2500 persons died. 
The Iraq conflict has claimed over 100,000 lives in total with some estimates over ½ Million.   Mexican drug wars killed about 15,000 in 2010.
Counting the number of wars is not easy, but there are some 40 current conflicts globally.  Ten of these result in more than 1000 deaths per year,.  About half the conflicts are intranational (civil conflicts).  Notably is that collectively in these wars, up to 70% of the deaths are amongst civilians rather than military personnel.
The Ottawa Charter on Health Promotion defined peace as one of the pre-requisites for health.   On this day of rememberance, scan your eyes to both our Canadian military heroes, and also to the global community that continues to strive for global peace and to our fallen civilian neighbours. 

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