Many global health struggles involve issues that pose little threat to human life in the developed world. Diseases that can be treated by doctors or even self-medicated with the help of a pharmacist inflict incredible number of fatalities on populations in lower-income regions of the globe. The health care infrastructures of these countries are often overwhelmed due to their own lack of medicine or medical personnel. People lack access to medicine programs that can save their lives with very little effort.
The Impact of Disease in the Developing World
An affliction such as diarrhea does not usually cause more than discomfort and embarrassment among people in higher-income countries. In developing nations, diarrhea is a major killer. The dehydration has a powerful effect and the lack of sanitation in many areas worsens the problem. Unfortunately, while the medicine to treat this condition effectively exits, it is not available widely enough for people in many areas to take advantage of it.
Malaria is a disease more common to many of the poorer countries on the map. Nevertheless, there are many methods available to treat and prevent this malady. Getting these treatments to needy areas has been a major problem for health foundations.
A Spotlight on AIDS
Though AIDS has been brought under control in most of the high-income countries, it is still a major threat to life in less privileged regions. About 30 million people presently have AIDS and millions more are added to this number every year. The total amount of people suffering only grows slowly because nearly two million of them die every year.
Shockingly, powerful drug cocktails to control the symptoms of this disease exist in plenteous amounts. However, getting them to people in need is difficult. There are not enough doctors available in the often rough medical infrastructures even to diagnose all the potential patients. It is estimated that two out of every three people in need of AIDS medicines and treatments do not receive any medical attention at all. Of the remaining third, many skip out on their treatment after a short period of time, which inevitably leads to death when the underlying cause is AIDS.
Maternal and Child Health
Millions of orphans come into the world every year. Pregnancy, a condition celebrated in many cultures, still brings a significantly increased chance of mortality in low-income regions. About half a million women die due to pregnancy complications every year or they actually die during labor. When their children survive, they frequently become orphans because the fathers cannot care for them.
AIDS has its own particular effect on women and children. A major contributor to the yearly numbers for AIDS lies in the transmission of the disease from mother to child during pregnancy.
Giant steps have been taken recently against some of these obstacles to global health. The proliferation of bed nets has severely limited the number of new malaria outbreaks. Increased attention to infrastructure has created new facilities to treat a growing number of people seeking medical assistance.
Karen Guildford is an AIDS advocate who writes often about HIV/AIDS awarness, news and more.