Vector control in many rural settings is one of the great challenges of public health. Although methods for preventing the spread of vector-borne diseases have been known for many years, far from being eradicated they are on the increase. A number of the vectors have become more resistant to the chemicals used to combat them, control programmes have not been maintained, and environmental changes have produced new breeding sites for the intermediate hosts. Urban settlement without adequate water supply and sanitation, flooding of land behind dams, new forms of rubbish capable of holding water, social disruption leading to migration and new agricultural practices are examples of changes which have given these diseases and their vectors opportunities to spread.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.