The past two decades have shown an increase in the prevalence of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), affecting high-income as well as low- and middle-income countries. In fact, 63% of all deaths worldwide were due at least in part to NCDs, and around three quarters of the world’s chronic disease-related deaths that year occurred in low- and middle-income countries. These countries have to contend with a dual burden of infectious and non-communicable diseases, which pose not only a health burden, but also an economic burden. Three studies published in BMC Medicine this week explore some of these important issues.
Mental health disorders in Ethiopian homeless
Despite being a leading cause of disability and ill health globally, mental health
In China, tuberculosis (TB) is a major public health problem; it has the second largest burden in the world, and TB is the number one cause of deaths due to a single infectious agent. Here, 1.4 million people per year develop the active form of the disease, and just 20 years ago, it was attributable to the deaths of 360, 000 individuals per year. However, it is known that when intervention strategies are in place, they are effective. For instance, China was able to halve the deaths attributed to TB following a large scale program initiated in 1992.
Early diagnosis followed by prompt treatment are the core objectives of an effective national TB control program. However, delays …
Clinical oncology in Western countries is currently characterized by preventative programs (which include early diagnosis), combined treatments (radio-chemo-surgery), reconstructive surgery, and, more recently, by tailored treatment with monoclonal antibodies or specific inhibitors based on newly identified cancer biomarkers. Clinical oncology in the rest of the world, which represents 85.3% of the Earth’s population, has different priorities, strategies and aims, which are often difficult to compare. Major differences are not only due to the different socio-economical conditions and the national health programs, but also to disparities in cancer burden and their etiopathogenesis, as well the population-based genetic susceptibility. A further major difference is the age-distribution of the population. In the Western world, the population is very much aged, with people aged …
Elephantiasis, schistosomiasis, onchocerciasis, dracunculiasis, neurocysticercosis – if you have heard of these diseases at all, you probably think of them as being rare diseases, but in all probability you’ve never heard of them or many other diseases like them. They are part of a group of infections called the neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) – diseases of neglected populations, those who are at the bottom of the social and economic ladder, the so-called “bottom billion”. They are, in short, infections which are most prevalent amongst the poorest.
WHO estimates that over a billion people are infected with these “rare” conditions with many more at risk. NTDs do not reach the political radar screen, as those infected have no …
Franco M Buonaguro and Sam M Mbulaiteye, Editors-in-Chief of Infectious Agents & Cancer, would like to invite you to submit your manuscript to a new thematic series, entitled “Burkitt Lymphoma, Beyond Discoveries” which will be published in the journal.
Burkitt Lymphoma (BL) is an aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) that was first described by Dennis Burkitt in 1958 in Ugandan children. Since then, numerous breakthroughs, including the discovery of the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), and its links to the disease, have been made. The most important of these discoveries has been the demonstration of curability of lymphoma which has re-invigorated efforts to use chemotherapy to treat cancer and helped establish some of the key principles of chemotherapy for …
Saturday 1st December is World AIDS Day. World Aids Day was the first global health awareness day held in 1988 to help commemorate those who have died of AIDS, raise awareness of the disease, and help drive support for people living with HIV. 25 years on, this year the WHO has defined this year as World AIDS Day 2012: Getting to Zero.
100,000 people are currently living with HIV in the UK alone – worldwide this number is estimated to be 34 million which includes 3.3 million children. Each day almost 7,000 are people newly infected and although antiretroviral therapy is increasingly allowing people to lead normal lives 1.7 million people died of AIDS in 2011.
The Terrance …
Updates and reflections from Open Access Africa and Berlin 10 – 4-8 November 2012, Cape Town & Stellenbosch, South Africa – Jonathan Harle, Programmes Manager at the Association of Commonwealth Universities (@jonharle)
Open Access Week is upon us and BioMed Central is proud to sponsor this international endeavor to raise awareness of both the existence and the benefits of open access. Now in its sixth year, OA Week encourages participation from the entire academic and research community and ultimately aims to make open access a global norm.
BioMed Central is buzzing with activity to celebrate this worthwhile week and to help spread the word we have created a set of posters which can be freely downloaded and displayed wherever they might be useful. We are also organising and participating in a number of events across the world aimed at raising open access awareness to local and international audiences, such as …