We\’re told that a project in North Karelia did wondrous things for health inequality.
The North Karelia project shows how the geography of inequality can be conquered by engaging the hearts and minds of local people. In the 60s, Finland had the world\’s highest rate of early deaths from coronary heart disease. People died young from largely preventable and treatable conditions, particularly concentrated in the poor eastern province of North Karelia. After much political debate and scientific work, the prevention programme was launched in 1972, co-ordinated by the local university.
The emphasis is very much on how the results were specifically wonderful in that particular area as the community mobilised to beat the problem.
Hmm, yes, well:
From a quick eyeballing we would probably say that sure, there\’s been a great effect on deaths from coronary heart disease. Just as there has been everywhere over that time span. But that general decrease seems to swamp the relative decrease between the specific locality and the general population.
Perhaps this isn\’t quite as much of a success as it is said to be?