Despite the advances in medicine and science and technology, infectious diseases caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites continue to plague the world with diseases and disabilities. They are the cause of death and disability worldwide. The majority of havoc is caused by a few infectious diseases-Lower Respiratory Infections, HIV/AIDS, Diarrhea diseases, Tuberculosis, Malaria and Measles. This is especially true of problem regions of Sub Saharan Africa and East Asia.
Some minor infections are also caused by Lymphatic Filariasis, Trachoma, Intestinal parasites, and leprosy. There are many causes responsible for the incidence of infectious diseases in the poor and underdeveloped regions of the world, namely Sub Saharan Africa and East Asia. Poverty is the number one reason. It limits the access to clean and healthy living conditions. It leads to poor nutrition. Poor Nutrition-poor immunity –high infection complex exacerbates the problem of infective diseases caused by poverty. Poverty also means lack of access to treatment and drugs.
It also means illiteracy and ignorance about treatment. Poor sanitation, unclean water and contaminated food all fester with infection causing germs and spreads infectious diseases. Lack of access to Health care, development of resistance to antibiotics, changing human migration patterns, new infectious agents, and changing environmental and developmental activities are all responsible for spread of infectious diseases. HIV/AIDS has emerged as a major global disease along with other new infections worldwide. Since the early 1990’s the T.B. epidemic has been driven by the AIDS pandemic.
Driven by increasing antibiotic resistance, faulty prescription of ineffective drugs, and poor consumption of medication, many infectious diseases have re emerged globally. The incidence of infectious diseases is skewed by region and gender. For example, in 2002, 75 % of all deaths due to infectious diseases occurred in Sub Saharan Africa and East Asia. More than sixty percent of Deaths in Southern Africa was due to Infectious diseases. Also poorest and most vulnerable are hardest hit.
For example women and children are most affected. Children are most likely to be the casualty for Malaria. Women now account for more than 50% of new HIV infections. Lower Respiratory Infections like Pneumonia occur in children of underdeveloped countries whose immunity system are weakened by malnutrition. Diarrhaeal diseases like Cholera spread through contaminated water and food is common in developing countries and causes dehydration that can be fatal. Tuberculosis kills 2 million every year, 90% in the developing countries.
Malaria is a leading killer of children under five especially in Africa. It can be treated with prophylactic drugs. Measles is a giant child killer in developing countries. It accounts for 4% of children’s deaths every year worldwide. But hope is there! Many N. G. O’s International Bodies, Philanthropic agencies and Governmental Institutions are involved in tackling the problem of infectious diseases that affects all humanity.
Reference- 1. “ Infectious Diseases”- Global Health Council- 31/01/2006- www. globalhealth. org.