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Abstract

In 1979, about a third of Iran’s population was living in rural areas that were mostly out of contact with health services. In the times of change that followed the revolution, primitive infrastructure and lack of resources challenged the development of a rural primary health care program. Successful implementa- tion of novel techniques, such as the use of front line health workers, led to political commitment, the program’s expansion, and much improved health status indicators. The program is now considered the foremost example among rural primary care systems. Consequently, Iranian experts have recently begun aiding in the development of a similar program in Mississippi, a state with some of the worst health sta- tistics in the country.

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