War's toll on public health

A University of Washington conference on global health broadens its scope to take in war's toll on the public's health.

GLOBAL-HEALTH leaders in Seattle this weekend lend much-needed attention and focus to one aspect of war going largely unnoticed: its impact on civilians.

Vigorous reporting and attention has yielded an impressive chronicling of war's toll on soldiers. Sobering statistics about physical and psychological suffering provide a blueprint for military spending on health care, from active-duty personnel to veterans.

A comparable effort on the civilian side of war does not exist. Public policy and funding has yet to grasp war's heavy toll on non-soldiers as a public-health problem.