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David J. Hunter; Tackling the Health Divide in Europe: The Role of the World Health Organization. J Health Polit Policy Law 1 October 2012; 37 (5): 867–878. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03616878-1672754
Europe faces major health challenges in addition to its well-reported economic and financial difficulties. Despite the overall improvement in population health, significant inequalities remain, with a growing gap between rich and poor. WHO Europe, covering fifty-three member states, is committed to helping European governments meet the complex challenge posed by the “silent epidemic” of noncommunicable diseases. In September 2012 WHO launched Health 2020, an ambitious new health policy framework and strategy. Its success requires a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach to improving health and well-being, informed by the latest evidence on cost-effective interventions. This review considers the prospects for success.