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The life and contribution of Professor David Sanders through his publications
  1. Tony Waterston
  1. Newcastle University Institute for Health and Society, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AX, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tony Waterston, Newcastle University Institute for Health and Society, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4AX, UK; tony.waterston{at}


Professor David Sanders died in August 2019. He leaves a long legacy of analysis and teaching on global child health and public health particularly in relation to poverty and the roots of ill health, and how to tackle them. Sanders believed that the determinants of health lay in the social conditions of the population and that these had to be improved by social change and working at the grass roots rather than by top-down medical treatment with drugs; he was a strong proponent of primary healthcare as originally established by WHO and supported the appointment of community health workers who would be responsible to the local community. His work is covered in this article through a review of significant books of which the best known is The Struggle for Health and his research in the field.

  • health economics
  • health service

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  • Correction notice This article has been updated since it was published online. The article type has been changed to Review.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.