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[Viewpoint] Challenges of health programmes in slums

The world is becoming increasingly urban. Of the projected increase of 1·1 billion in the world population between 2010 and 2025, virtually all will be urban dwellers.1 Urbanisation is mostly happening in low-income regions, with Africa having the highest rate of all continents.2 The population growth rate in urban areas is almost double the rural rate but, more importantly, the slum growth rate is higher than the overall urban rate.2 In the next few decades, the proportion of the urban population living in slums in sub-Saharan Africa might therefore get even higher than the estimated 60% in 2010.