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Disease index

Western societies become hysterical when a few people die; panics if there is some food poisoning or CJD. It is a major media story when just three people died in New York from Mosquitoes.  Meanwhile millions die in the developing world.  Drugs companies spend the vast majority of their research in Western diseases (and none threatening ailments) whilst diseases of the third world are ignored because they couldn't pay for the drugs 


6 diseases cause 90% of deaths from disease

ARI (Acute Respiratory Infection), AIDs, Diarrhoea, TB, Malaria, Measles


A child dies every three second from disease


1 in 5 children die before the age of 5


3000/day die of malaria, 3/4 are children


4000/day die of TB, a disease assumed cured


2,500/day die of Measles, which is the most infectious disease.

Access to clean drinking water can save children from Diarrhoeal diseases

The key organisations fighting the challenge of infectious diseases are 

bulletGAVI, a campaign to provide access to inoculations and vaccinations, 
bulletMSF, Medecins Sans Frontieres, who have used their Nobel prize money to fund a campaign

But there are success stories, Smallpox, Polio,  & River Blindness-

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WHO Successes


WHO successes include eradication of Smallpox and through its Polio Eradication Initiative, WHO is spearheading a global partnership to eradicate polio by the year 2000. In just ten years the number of cases worldwide has fallen by almost 90% to5 000 today. The Americas have been declared polio-free and polio has disappeared from Europe and China. Transmission is now restricted to a band of sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent. As well as creating a polio-free world, polio eradication activities are strengthening our capacity to tackle other preventable diseases.  Infections are down from 1000/day ten years ago to 30/day now


River Blindness (ONCHOCERCIASIS)


Following a major international program this parasitic disease, with many side effects, including blindness, has been largly contained.  From some 1.5 million people suffering from the parasite, at the start of the program, today there are virtually nil. The 11 million children born in the risk area are now free of the diseas.  The initial plan was directed at killing the larvae in their river breeding grounds.  The development of ivermectin in the 1980's provided for the first time a safe, effective drug capable of reducing the numbers of skin microfilariae in infected people and resulting in clinical improvement and decreased transmission of infectionIn 1987 ivermectin's manufacturer, Merck & Co., Inc., pledged to provide at no cost all the drug necessary for as long as necessary to overcome onchocerciasis as a public health problem

For more info see the WHO fact sheet



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Site created and managed by Dave Pearce  - 

updated    13-Dez-09 V1.4 -