The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2005, HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria combined were responsible for around 4 million deaths. In the same year, chronic non-communicable diseases killed nearly 30 million people. Shocking as they are, these figures do not tell the full story of the disability, suffering and personal hardship that results from diabetes complications; or, on a larger economic scale, the enormous healthcare costs and lost productivity attributable to diabetes. Further, people with chronic non-communicable diseases are more likely to get infectious diseases, including HIV/AIDS and TB. In many countries, the diagnosis of a chronic disease can severely limit a family’s chances of escaping from poverty. This constellation of socio-economic and environmental factors must be addressed. Ruth Colagiuri looks at how.
chronic disease, World Health Organization, Oxford Health Alliance, FCTC, Global Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health