Developing countries

English

Partnerships and knowledge - the enemies of disease

President's editorial

Chronic diseases: a growing problem in developing countries

Chronic diseases are increasing in global prevalence and seriously threaten developing nations’ ability to improve the health of their populations. Indeed, chronic disease has become the dominant health burden in many developing countries. It is estimated that in 2005, chronic diseases were responsible for 50% of deaths and illness in 23 selected developing countries. Surveys from countries in all corners of the world reveal significant health and economic consequences from chronic diseases, with the greatest impact likely to occur in the poor countries that are least able to respond.

The CARMEN initiative - Latin America's response to the chronic disease burden

In most countries in the Americas, chronic diseases are now the leading cause of premature death and disability. Responsible for two of every three deaths among the general population, chronic diseases caused almost half of the mortality in people under 70 years old in 2002. The significant socio-economic inequities in Latin America compound the burden of chronic disease (including early death) among poorer people, locking many into a cycle of deprivation and ill-health.

Pakistan's action plan on chronic diseases - public-private partnership in action

About a decade and a half ago, public health priorities in low- and middle-income countries were centred on infectious diseases and maternal and child health issues. Subsequently, however, data published in leading medical journals and reports by multilateral agencies has shown that more than 50% of the burden of disease in developing countries is attributable to chronic diseases – including heart disease, diabetes, cancers and some chronic lung conditions.

Closing the information gap: the HINARI, AGORA and OARE programmes

The lack of access to scientific and medical literature has historically been a major challenge in developing countries. In a world that is increasingly digital, effective opportunities now exist for connecting healthcare providers, researchers and policy-makers with online research and clinical information. The authors report on HINARI, AGORA and OARE programmes built on partnerships between publishers and UN organizations which provide researchers from developing countries with access to the world’s latest scientific literature.

Changing lifestyles and the epidemic of obesity among children in Pakistan

Over recent decades, there has been a worldwide increase in the number of people with obesity – currently around 300 million according to the International Obesity Task Force – and there are no signs of a slow-down. Furthermore, rates of overweight and obesity in adults and children are rising dramatically in developing countries. A large and growing body of evidence points to the transformation of lifestyles worldwide – over-consumption of energy-dense food and decreased physical activity – as the driving force behind this pandemic.

Improving self-efficacy in the search for cost-effective solutions - the Indonesian experience

The burden of diabetes has increased dramatically in most developed countries and in many developing countries. People’s perceptions and knowledge about their diabetes, as well as other psychological factors, are important predictors for the success of diabetes self-management. Indonesia’s population of more than 240 million people faces a wide range of health problems – both communicable and non-communicable diseases – which are placing a huge burden on the country’s healthcare sector.


The diabetes strategy for the WHO African Region: a call to action

The World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Office for Africa, concerned about the escalating incidence of diabetes in the African Region, presented a regional strategy for diabetes to be adopted by health ministers during the 57th session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa, held in August 2007 in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo. The strategy examined the situation of type 2 diabetes in the African Region and proposed methods to prevent and control the disease.

Diabetes care in Nicaragua: results of the RAPIA study

Nicaragua, located in Central America, is the second poorest country in the western hemisphere. Around half of its population of 5 million people lives on less than 1 USD per day. Nicaragua is facing a growing burden of non-communicable diseases. In 2000, the Ministry of Health reported that the leading causes of death were heart attack, stroke, perinatal death (foetal and new-born) and diabetes. In 2002, deaths due to chronic diseases represented 37% of the total; deaths due to communicable diseases fell from 14.5% in 1985 to less than 5% in 2002.

Small-scale strategies to improve diabetes awareness in those who need it most

After only a few hours at an outpatient diabetes clinic in Tanzania, it becomes apparent to any observer that most people with diabetes arrive unaccompanied. The lack of affordable transportation forces people to visit the clinics alone. Unfortunately, such behaviour not only fosters a lack of support from the family but also creates a gap between the family and the healthcare provider. When it comes to managing diabetes at a population level, a team approach is necessary that includes people with diabetes, their family and their healthcare providers.

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