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Public Health at a Glance

What is Public Health at a glance?

The Public Health at a glance fact sheets aim to provide World Bank staff and others with quick, easy access to the state of the art in core basic health functions, and basic health, nutrition and population (HNP) preventive and curative services. These concise summaries are intended as introductions to the issues and the key interventions proven to be effective in improving health. They may be useful to project teams in the Bank and to others making investment decisions designed to improve health and nutrition.

The fact sheets include:

  • Key facts on each topic
  • Evidence-based interventions
  • Indicators for monitoring and evaluation
  • Implementation lessons learned
  • Selected sources for more information
The web versions include, in addition:
  • Links to useful sources for more detailed information
  • Sample Terms of Reference
  • Project Appraisal Documents
The fact sheets include topics covering some of the "best buys" for improving health during the stage of the lifecycle: pregnancy and birth; early childhood; the school age years; adolescence and adulthood:

Some fact sheets deal with core public health functions:   surveillance healthcare waste management and  injection safety. Fact sheets covering other functions will be developed in future.

Four multisectoral topics describe key interventions in many sectors in addition to health, to improve public health outcomes:
Investments in core public health functions, such as surveillance, and the interventions described in the fact sheets will help governments achieve the health, nutrition and population related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information on the MDGs go to:

The "Determinants of health outcomes" diagram shows a framework for linking the MDGs and other HNP outcomes with household and community practices, and with the health system and macro context. This corresponds to the logical framework used in many projects. Public health at a glance describes the basic services in this framework, actions in related sectors, and interventions to influence behaviors and risk factors and indicators for monitoring and evaluation program impact. The "at a glance" fact sheets may be useful for teams considering Poverty Reduction Strategies, Health Systems Development, and those seeking to link project inputs with progress towards the MDGs and other specific health, nutrition and population outcomes of the poor, and in the design of community health and nutrition programs.

Useful readings and websites:

Public Health and World Bank Operations, 2002, The Human Development Network, Health Nutrition and Population Series, World Bank.

Health, Nutrition and Population Development Goals; Measuring Progress Using the Poverty Reduction Strategy Framework, World Bank Nov 2001

Poverty-reduction and the Health Sector. Claeson, Griffin, Johnston, Mclachlan, Soucat, Wagstaff & Yazbeck
 Chapter 18, Health, Nutrition and Population, in Poverty Reduction Strategy Sourcebook,World Bank, 2002.

 World Bank contacts:

Health and Population Advisory Service email:

Public Health Website 
 to find information on the MDGs, WB Public Health Strategy, tools, and documents

Last updated: 2010-04-28

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