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August 2012

Since over half of the world's population now live in cities, it has become important to monitor the inequities in health that exist within cities worldwide. This month the PLOS Medicine Editors discuss how to generate useful health inequity indicators, and some hazards specific to urban environments—both the obvious and the subtle—with a focus on air quality. The Editors examine the lack of correlation between the size of a city and its air quality, noting that the strength of environmental laws and the accountability of the country's government have a greater impact on urban air quality than a city's size. As the association between hazardous air particulates and adverse effects on health is now well established, the Editors argue that we need to ensure air quality data are truly representative of the quality of air breathed by all city-dwellers, including those working in industrial “hot spots.” The Editors also express their concern about the effects on the quality and transparency of data that national embarrassment over air pollution can produce. Air quality data must be made available transparently if the imbalance in urban health equity is to be redressed, they argue.

Image Credit: David Evers at

Health in Action

Developing and Costing Local Strategies to Improve Maternal and Child Health: The Investment Case Framework

Eliana Jimenez Soto, Sophie La Vincente, Andrew Clark, Sonja Firth, Alison Morgan, Zoe Dettrick, Prarthna Dayal, Bernardino M. Aldaba, Beena Varghese, Laksono Trisnantoro, Yogendra Prasai, Investment Case Team for India, Indonesia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines

Educating Enough Competent Health Professionals: Advancing Educational Innovation at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, Tanzania

Ephata E. Kaaya, Sarah B. Macfarlane, Charles A. Mkony, Eligius F. Lyamuya, Helen Loeser, Phyllis Freeman, Edward K. Kirumira, Kisali Pallangyo, Haile T. Debas

Policy Forums

Legal Disputes over Duties to Disclose Treatment Risks to Patients: A Review of Negligence Claims and Complaints in Australia

Marie M. Bismark, Andrew J. Gogos, Richard B. Clark, Russell L. Gruen, Atul A. Gawande, David M. Studdert


Child Mortality Estimation: Accelerated Progress in Reducing Global Child Mortality, 1990–2010

Kenneth Hill, Danzhen You, Mie Inoue, Mikkel Z. Oestergaard, Technical Advisory Group of the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation

Research Articles

Efficacy and Safety of Three Antiretroviral Regimens for Initial Treatment of HIV-1: A Randomized Clinical Trial in Diverse Multinational Settings

Thomas B. Campbell, Laura M. Smeaton, N. Kumarasamy, Timothy Flanigan, Karin L. Klingman, Cynthia Firnhaber, Beatriz Grinsztejn, Mina C. Hosseinipour, Johnstone Kumwenda, Umesh Lalloo, Cynthia Riviere, Jorge Sanchez, Marineide Melo, Khuanchai Supparatpinyo, Srikanth Tripathy, Ana I. Martinez, Apsara Nair, Ann Walawander, Laura Moran, Yun Chen, Wendy Snowden, James F. Rooney, Jonathan Uy, Robert T. Schooley, Victor De Gruttola, James Gita Hakim, PEARLS study team of the ACTG

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The Role of HIV-Related Stigma in Utilization of Skilled Childbirth Services in Rural Kenya: A Prospective Mixed-Methods Study

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Feasibility, Yield, and Cost of Active Tuberculosis Case Finding Linked to a Mobile HIV Service in Cape Town, South Africa: A Cross-sectional Study

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Neonatal Mortality Risk Associated with Preterm Birth in East Africa, Adjusted by Weight for Gestational Age: Individual Participant Level Meta-Analysis

Tanya Marchant, Barbara Willey, Joanne Katz, Siân Clarke, Simon Kariuki, Feiko ter Kuile, John Lusingu, Richard Ndyomugyenyi, Christentze Schmiegelow, Deborah Watson-Jones, Joanna Armstrong Schellenberg

Diagnosing Severe Falciparum Malaria in Parasitaemic African Children: A Prospective Evaluation of Plasma PfHRP2 Measurement

Ilse C. E. Hendriksen, Juliet Mwanga-Amumpaire, Lorenz von Seidlein, George Mtove, Lisa J. White, Rasaq Olaosebikan, Sue J. Lee, Antoinette K. Tshefu, Charles Woodrow, Ben Amos, Corine Karema, Somporn Saiwaew, Kathryn Maitland, Ermelinda Gomes, Wirichada Pan-Ngum, Samwel Gesase, Kamolrat Silamut, Hugh Reyburn, Sarah Joseph, Kesinee Chotivanich, Caterina I. Fanello, Nicholas P. J. Day, Nicholas J. White, Arjen M. Dondorp

Child Mortality Estimation: A Global Overview of Infant and Child Mortality Age Patterns in Light of New Empirical Data

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