Developing countries


Promoting opportunities, fighting against isolation in India

India is undergoing an economic transformation – a financial boom according to many. Among India’s strong points contributing to this positive economic climate is its enormous young population. The potential for productivity, savings and investments by this generation will increase in the future, and is driving up levels of investments and confidence in the Indian economy. However, such gains are cancelled out to a large degree by excessive healthcare spending.

Improvements in care for people with diabetes in Mozambique

An article in this magazine in March 2004 described the Rapid Assessment Protocol for Insulin Access in Mozambique, and some of the results from its implementation. Since it was carried out in 2003, much has changed in Mozambique with regards to access to insulin and diabetes care. The Protocol provided vital information on the areas that the healthcare system needed to focus upon in order to improve care.

Improving care and prevention for people with diabetes in Algeria

Like many other developing countries, Algeria is undergoing a transition in its disease  profile. The emergence of non-communicable diseases, including obesity-driven type 2

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.