PRETORIA, SOUTH AFRICA — This year, the eyes of the world again turned to South Africa. From the launch of the African Union and the World Conference on Sustainable Development (WSSD) to the continuing battle against HIV/AIDS and the food crisis in the region, 2002 was an exciting and challenging year.

Management Sciences for Health's William Newbrander has contributed two chapters on establishing microinsurance at the community level to the recently released Social Reinsurance: A New Approach to Sustainable Community Health Financing (2002) edited by David M. Dror and Alexander S. Preker and published by the World Bank and the International Labour Organization. Social Reinsurance shows how the underlying idea of social insurance can be made operational in countries without the capacity to finance or organize large-scale systems.

BOSTON, MA (JUNE 16, 2003) — After more than two decades of war, the health of Afghanistan's people is among the worst in the world. More than 800 children die every day, largely from preventable causes. Nearly 1 in 4 Afghan children will not reach his or her fifth birthday, and their mothers do not fare much better. An Afghan woman is 100 times more likely to die of pregnancy-related problems than her American counterpart. These deaths are not only preventable but are also a reflection of the poor access to basic health services, and insufficient health education and awareness.