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West Indian Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 0043-3144

West Indian med. j. vol.58 no.2 Mona Mar. 2009




Health and development in our time: selected speeches of Sir George Alleyne



Edited by HS Fraser, 2008, Ian Randle Publishers, Jamaica, 359 pages

The publication of speeches by Sir George Alleyne, edited by Professor H Fraser, is timely. The collection of speeches covers 28 years, with a common theme of health and development, is consistently illustrated by the use of statistics and so gives the reader a snapshot of the changes over the years in health status. The wide range of topics covered reflects the professional journey of Professor Alleyne including his interest in medical research, stigma and discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients to chronic diseases, and finally health policy. From his early research training, there is rigour in identifying the facts, analyzing the data or situation and then drawing conclusions throughout regardless of the topic. This allows the reader to understand how he arrived at his thoughts and so facilitate discussion and learning. The editor Professor Fraser has grouped the speeches according to the three main areas of Sir George Alleyne's career: researcher, administrator and global health leader.

The book is arranged in sections. The first is the Mona years which remind the reader of how health and development are linked and the importance of evidence-based arguments. All the speeches are supported by research findings. Section two contains speeches from Sir George's Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) years. These speeches continue the health and development theme but shift from a Caribbean focus to an International one. There is a subtle shift in these speeches towards policy and increasing concern with equity issues. The final section reflects the post PAHO years in which Sir George is advocate for health especially in the area of HIV/AIDS and the reduction of stigma. The organization into sections facilitates choice of reading according to interest.

A wide range of persons within and outside the health field will find this book of value. Economic and social science students will find many chapters of interest. It is a timely addition to the body of Caribbean thought.


D Eldemire-Shearer,
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry,
The University of the West Indies Mona,
Kingston 7, Jamaica.