Developing countries

English

Access to care - the key to development

Editorial

IDF and the bigger picture

President's Editorial

Lessons from Nigeria: the fight against counterfeit drugs in Africa

The sale of counterfeit products is a problem in most countries. Every year, about 7% of world trade, valued at about 280 billion USD, is lost due to counterfeiting. In the information technology sector, products worth an estimated 20 billion USD are currently in circulation. But the huge financial losses incurred by manufacturers and individual customers as a result of the trafficking of fake goods are overshadowed by the tragic human costs: the pharmaceutical industry, and consequently the marketplace, are flooded with counterfeits.

Focus on the front line: l'Association Malienne de Lutte contre le Diabète

Contrary to the now outdated idea of diabetes as a disease of rich people in rich countries, the condition is increasingly widespread in Africa. Mali, the second-largest country in West Africa, bordering the Sahara desert to the north and Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal to the south, has not escaped the budding epidemic of type 2 diabetes. Overall prevalence is thought to exceed 2% – nearly a quarter of a million people. Most of these have type 2 diabetes and live in the urban areas.

Focus on the front line: Diabetes South Africa

Diabetes is emerging as a serious public-health problem in South Africa, particularly in the urban areas, where social welfare and health systems are precarious, and there is a lack of access to appropriate health information. Diabetes South Africa (DSA), established in 1969, advocates for the rights of all people with diabetes in the country.

Promoting global action on the social determinants of health

Throughout the world, socially disadvantaged people with inadequate access to health resources suffer worse health status and die younger than people in more privileged social positions. Yet although the greatest share of health problems is attributable to living conditions, health policies are dominated by disease-focused solutions that largely ignore the social environment. As a result, inequalities have widened and health interventions have obtained less than optimal results.

Diabetes management in a primary care setting: the Kenyatta National Hospital

Diabetes is increasingly common worldwide, and Kenya is no exception. The Ministry of Health estimates the prevalence of diabetes to be around 10% (3.5 million people). The cause of much human suffering, diabetes also places a considerable economic burden on individuals and families, and healthcare systems.

Diabetes and traditional medicine in Africa

In Africa, there is said to be one traditional healer to every 200 people; an estimated 80% of people in the continent turn to traditional medicine as a source of primary care, including those with diabetes. In settings that are characterized by shortcomings in healthcare provision resources, traditional healers are making selective use of biomedical knowledge and language to enhance the perceived effectiveness of their treatments.

From research to policy: the development of a national diabetes programme in Cameroon

Ten years ago, without evidence to suggest otherwise, diabetes was not considered a public priority in Cameroon; the emphasis of Government health policy was on tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic and attempting to eradicate communicable diseases. Efforts had been made to set up centres specializing in diabetes and hypertension, but without the backing of a national diabetes programme, most of these closed within a few years. The lack of data on non-communicable diseases constituted a major roadblock to the development of any such programme.

Toward a better future in Morocco

The rise in the number of people with diabetes in Morocco reflects current global trends. In step with the sharp and ongoing increase in levels of obesity in the urban populations, the prevalence of diabetes is rising. But while the threat of a full-blown diabetes epidemic in Morocco is growing, many people with the condition receive inadequate care as a result of shortages in human and medical resources, poor clinical facilities, and a lack of diabetes education.

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