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Social inequalities and health inequity in Morocco

DOI: 10.1186/1475-9276-5-1

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Our study was based mainly on annual reports and regular publications released by the United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Health Organisation (WHO), The Moroccan Health Ministry and related papers published in international journals.As indicated by the last Arab Human Development Reports (AHDR 2002, AHDR 2003, AHDR 2004) and implicitly confirmed by the "National Initiative for Human Development" (NIHD) launched in May 2005 by the King of Morocco, many districts and shanty towns, urban or peri-urban, and a multitude of rural communes live in situations characterized by difficult access to basic social services of which education and health are examples.Recent evidence showed that improved health is more than a consequence of development. It is a central input into economic and social development and poverty reduction. Serious initiatives for human development should consider the reduction of social inequalities and health inequities as a first priority. Otherwise, the eventual development achieved cannot be sustained.According to the last census, Morocco has a population approaching 30 million people, experiencing a transition on different levels. In 2005, 55% of the population is living in urban areas, compared to 43% in 1982 and 29% in 1960. The Moroccan population is young, with 38% under the age of 14 years, and life expectancy at birth has increased from 65 in 1980 to 68.5 in 2004. The country has made good progress in the control of preventable childhood diseases but social inequalities and health inequities remain the major problems for the third millennium.Despite the diverse resources (agriculture, phosphates, fishing, potentialities for tourism, etc...) and the progress achieved during the last decade, the country still ranks 125th according to the Human Development Index (HDI) (UNDP, 2004)[1]. This unpleasant position is mainly explained by low income, high adult illiteracy, lack of generalized education, and health indi

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