Social Scientist. v 7, no. 73-74 (Aug-Sept 1978) p. 59.

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Political Issues in Healthy Population and Nutrition

HEALTH services are one of the many factors that influence the health status of a population. The health of a population is also influenced, sometimes even more significantly, by such social and economic factors as nutrition, water supply, waste disposal, housing, education, income and its distribution, employment, communication and transport and the social structure. Secondly, as are the other factors influencing the health status, the health services of a community are usually a function of its political system. Political forces play a dominant role in the shaping of the health services of a community through for instance decisions on resource allocations, manpower policy, choice of technology and the degree to which the health services are to be available and accessible to the population.

The Political Economy of Health

These political dimensions of health services—the political economy of health—are brought int6 ffiarp focus by the cases described in the World Health Organization publication. Health by the People1. In countries exemplified by China and Cuba, where very positive efforts have been made to involve the entire population in the process of decision making as a part of a nation-wide political movement for bringing about radical social change, an alternative perspective for rural development

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