This month's cover illustrates health information, one of the six building blocks of health systems (see box below). It shows a man who is asking a family questions as part of a health survey in India.

In an editorial, Ties Boerma et al. (2) calls for more research on measuring the performance of health systems. A second editorial, by Marion Birch (3), discusses the roles of key players in initiatives aimed at reducing health inequities.


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Financial crisis

Jane Parry & Gary Humphreys (4-5) report on how the global financial crisis could have profound implications for the health spending plans of national governments.


Safe abortion from mid-level providers

Marge Berer (58-63) recommends that qualified mid-level health-care providers perform first-trimester abortions.

In recognition of WHO's drive to revitalize primary health care, each month's cover of the Bulletin this year will feature a photo illustrating one of the six building blocks of health systems:

• Service delivery

• Health workforce

• Health information systems

• Medical products and technologies

• Financing systems

• Leadership and governance.

World Health Organization Genebra - Genebra - Switzerland