Chronic non-communicable diseases
ABSTRACT Chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD) account for almost 60% of global mortality, and 80% of deaths from NCD occur in low- and middle-income countries. One quarter of these deaths--almost 9 million in 2005--are in men and women aged <60 years. Taken together, NCD represent globally the single largest cause of mortality in people of working age, and their incidences in younger adults are substantially higher in the poor countries of the world than in the rich. The major causes of NCD-attributable mortality are cardiovascular disease (30% of total global mortality), cancers (13%), chronic respiratory disease (7%) and diabetes (2%). These conditions share a small number of behavioural risk factors, which include a diet high in saturated fat and low in fresh fruit and vegetables, physical inactivity, tobacco smoking, and alcohol excess. In low- and middle-income countries such risk factors tend to be concentrated in urban areas and their prevalences are increasing as a result of rapid urbanization and the increasing globalisation of the food, tobacco and alcohol industries. Because NCD have a major impact on men and women of working age and their elderly dependents, they result in lost income, lost opportunities for investment, and overall lower levels of economic development. Reductions in the incidences of many NCD and their complications are, however, already possible. Up to 80% of all cases of cardiovascular disease or type-2 diabetes and 40% of all cases of cancer, for example, are probably preventable based on current knowledge. In addition, highly cost-effective measures exist for the prevention of some of the complications of established cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Achieving these gains will require a broad range of integrated, population-based interventions as well as measures focused on the individuals at high risk. At present, the international-assistance community provides scant resources for the control of NCD in poor countries, partly, at least, because NCD continue to be wrongly perceived as predominantly diseases of the better off. As urbanization continues apace and populations age, investment in the prevention and control of NCD in low-and middle-income countries can no longer be ignored.
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ABSTRACT: Global health institutions have called for governments, international organisations and health practitioners to employ a human rights-based approach to infectious diseases. The motivation for a human rights approach is clear: poverty and inequality create conditions for infectious diseases to thrive, and the diseases, in turn, interact with social-ecological systems to promulgate poverty, inequity and indignity. Governments and intergovernmental organisations should be concerned with the control and elimination of these diseases, as widespread infections delay economic growth and contribute to higher healthcare costs and slower processes for realising universal human rights. These social determinants and economic outcomes associated with infectious diseases should interest multinational companies, partly because they have bearing on corporate productivity and, increasingly, because new global norms impose on companies a responsibility to respect human rights, including the right to health. We reviewed historical and recent developments at the interface of infectious diseases, human rights and multinational corporations. Our investigation was supplemented with field-level insights at corporate capital projects that were developed in areas of high endemicity of infectious diseases, which embraced rights-based disease control strategies. Experience and literature provide a longstanding business case and an emerging social responsibility case for corporations to apply a human rights approach to health programmes at global operations. Indeed, in an increasingly globalised and interconnected world, multinational corporations have an interest, and an important role to play, in advancing rights-based control strategies for infectious diseases. There are new opportunities for governments and international health agencies to enlist corporate business actors in disease control and elimination strategies. Guidance offered by the United Nations in 2011 that is widely embraced by companies, governments and civil society provides a roadmap for engaging business enterprises in rights-based disease management strategies to mitigate disease transmission rates and improve human welfare outcomes.
Equity, social determinants and public health programmes, Edited by Anand Sivasankara Kurup, Eric Blas, 01/2010: chapter 11: pages 199-210; World Health Organization., ISBN: 978 92 4 156397 0
Official journal of the South African Academy of Family Practice/Primary Care 08/2014; 50(4):6-12. DOI:10.1080/20786204.2008.10873732