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The Burden of Communicable and Non-Communicable Diseases in Developing Countries

  • A. Boutayeb

Abstract:

Worldwide, developed and developing countries are facing the double burden of communicable and  noncommunicable diseases. However, developing countries are more exposed and more vulnerable due to a multitude of factors, including geographic, demographic and socio-economic factors. Noncommunicable diseases like cardio-vascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and mental disorders are affecting developing countries with an increasing trend. In parallel,  communicable diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, acute respiratory infections and diarrheal disease are causing high mortality rates especially in low and middle income countries. Other diseases like the so-called neglected diseases are exclusively afflicting developing countries. Low-income countries are particularly affected by lymphatic filariasis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, Buruli ulcer, cholera, cysticercosis, dracunculiasis, foodborne trematode infections, hydatidosis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis (ascariasis, trichuriasis, hookworm diseases), trachoma, sleeping sickness, onchocerciasis, Chagas disease, dengue and others. Beyond the high mortality and morbidity rates caused by communicable and/or noncommunicable diseases in developing countries, the global burden includes economic losses due to care for diseases and disabilities but also as a lack of productivity. More generally, communicable and noncommunicable diseases are impeding human development in developing countries by their negative impact on education, income and life expectancy and other health indicators. In sub-Saharan African countries, devastating consequences are already strikingly apparent in terms of life expectancy and  human development index (HDI) in general.

A large part of the burden caused by noncommunicable diseases like cardio vascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, obesity and others can be avoided by preventive measures, early diagnosis and detection and mainly by controlling risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, diet, and physical inactivity. Similarly, the impact of communicable diseases can be alleviated by efficient strategies, including affordability of treatments, development of new vaccines and medicines, improvement of environmental conditions and general incentives and sensitization.

Keywords

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Communicable Disease Lymphatic Filariasis Acute Respiratory Infection Sexually Transmitted Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

List of Abbreviations:

AIDS

acquired immune defense system

BMI

 body mass index

CD

communicable disease

COPD

chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

CVD

cardio vascular disease

DALY

disability adjusted life years

DOTS

 directly observed therapy strategy

HDI

human development index

HIV

human immunodeficiency virus

NCD

noncommunicable disease

ND

neglected disease

SARS

severe acute respiratory syndrome

STD

sexually transmitted disease

UNAIDS

United Nations AIDS

UNESCO

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNICEF

United Nations Children’s Fund

WHO

World Health Organization

YLD

years lived with disability

YLL

years of life lost

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© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Boutayeb

There are no affiliations available

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