Throughout the years, health research has focused mostly on urban and inner city subjects for various reasons. That focus has made our understanding of the health aspects of rural populations around the world less than adequate. In the past decade, more attention has been paid to rural areas and their health related problems than ever before. However, it is still much less than what is done in urban centres. The fact that most universities and academic research centres are primarily located in urban areas has contributed to this result. This is even more prevalent, when addressing child and adolescent health issues, despite the fact that in many areas of the world, rural health statistics regarding children and adolescents are more grim than those of urban areas. Adolescent morbidity and mortality world-wide continues to be the result of risk taking behaviours and is mostly preventable. Accidents, homicide, suicide, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, substance abuse and eating disorders are leading the way.
In order to improve this situation, much work needs to be done to address the health care needs of rural populations while taking into account cultural, ethnic and geographic differences. This present book on "Child Rural Health -- International Aspects" edited by Erica Bell and Joav Merrick, two prominent authors and scientists, is dedicated to the health aspects of rural populations. This book addresses rural health care issues affecting people from childhood to geriatric age. It also provides unique aspects from various regions of the world.
Joav Merrick, MD, MMedSci, DMSc, born and educated in Denmark is professor of pediatrics, child health and human development, Division of Pediatrics, Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center, Mt Scopus Campus, Jerusalem, Israel and Kentucky Childrens Hospital, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky United States and professor of public health at the Center for Healthy Development, School of Public Health, Georgia State University, Atlanta, United States, the medical director of the Health Services, Division for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Jerusalem, the founder and director of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Israel.