Shirin Ebadi

2003 Iranian Nobel peace prize winner

How healthy is your world?

"In my view, HIV/AIDS has been the most important global public health issue in 2005. Unfortunately, despite all international efforts, the spread of HIV and AIDS has not been stopped. For instance, in the past year in Iran alone, the number of AIDS cases increased about 100%. Similar situations have been reported from many other countries.

In my opinion, health issues should be looked at from an economic point of view as well. The people, who, either because of their personal status or as a result of the geographical circumstances of their living place, live under the poverty line obviously lack health care and are therefore exposed to various physical and mental illnesses. We should not forget that millions of people all over the world still have no access to drinking water, sanitation and basic medical care, such as medication and physicians, and the list goes on. Without addressing these issues properly, it would be difficult for us to be optimistic about “global health”."

Shirin Ebadi, a lawyer and human rights activist, became Iran's first Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2003.