Handbook of Disease Burdens and Quality of Life Measures pp 1171-1188 | Cite as
The Impact of Infectious Diseases on the Development of Africa
Despite the success of vaccination programs for polio and some childhood diseases, other diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, acute respiratory infections and diarrheal disease are causing high mortality rates in Africa. However, mortality figures give only a partial measure of the toll asked by infectious diseases, and the global burden includes also health impact measured by disabilities, deformities, loss of productivity, care and treatment caused by a multitude of diseases like lymphatic filariasis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, sleeping sickness and others. The impact of infectious diseases can be traced according to economic performance of African countries, showing that 34 out of 53 countries are classified as low-income economies. The disease burden is, however, more devastating since it affects all components of human development, including income, health and education.
The impact of infectious diseases on African countries is no longer a crisis only for the healthcare sector, but presents a challenge to all sectors. It has the potential to reverse those gains made in human development in the last few years. Consequently, beyond health issues, these diseases should and must globally be seen as a development concern, affecting education and knowledge acquisition, income and social status, productivity and economic growth and other direct and indirect components of human development such as gender equality and human rights.
For health strategies to be successful, international solidarity and public-private partnerships are needed to tackle the problems of shortage and lack of treatments, resistance and the need for new drugs, vaccines and diagnostic procedures. However, the output of international initiatives will remain limited without the national and local implication.
KeywordsAfrican Country Human Development Index Lymphatic Filariasis Sexually Transmitted Disease Human Development Report
List of Abbreviations:
Acquired Immune Defense System
Cardio Vascular Disease
Disability Adjusted Life Years
Food and Agriculture Organization
Gross Domestic Product
Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Human Poverty Index
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Sexually Transmitted Disease
- TB Alliance
The Global Alliance for Tuberculosis Drug Development
United Nations AIDS
United Nations Development Program
World Health Organization
Years Lived with Disability
Years of Life Lost
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