The Causes and Effects of Global Health Issues.

Topics: AIDS, World Health Organization, Africa Pages: 8 (2567 words) Published: April 6, 2013
The Causes and Effects of Global Health Issues.

Despite the fact that a significant improvement has been made in medical treatment, global health is still a serious issue that needs addressing. One aspect of this is widespread diseases, which have been threatening nations all around the world, bringing about a number of problematic effects. Furthermore, developing countries are at a disadvantage in terms of reacting to these illnesses due to their high level of poverty and shortage of education. In particular, cancer, AIDS, and malaria are considered to be severe diseases in developing countries. Therefore, possible causes and effects of these particular diseases will be discussed in this essay.

Cancer has been regarded as the most serious illness in a number of developing countries since 2010 (International Network for Cancer Treatment and Research, n.d.). Its causes are associated with many aspects, but the central one is lifestyle, which accounts for 80%-90% of all factors (Stadler, 2009). For example, according to Boutayeb and Boutayeb (2005), smoking, as the single leading cause, is directly linked to one-third of cancer deaths in developing countries. They also claim that the unhealthy diet is another factor and 60% of oral cavity, pharynx and oesophagus cancers are related to micronutrient deficiencies resulted from not having adequate vegetables, fruits and animal products in many developing countries. In addition to the way of living, cancer is also partly attributed to environmental pollution. A case in point is Jiangsu province in China. Making up only 5% of the population, it accounted for 12% of all cancer deaths in the country. One possible reason is that as an industrial city, its environment has been badly polluted. For instance, 93 substances, which can cause cancer and are mainly associated with factory waste, have been found in a river in this province (Brown, 2006).

Because of these issues, cancer has a devastating impact on the economy in developing countries. Statistics from the American Cancer Society (n.d.) indicate that approximately $895 billion was spent globally on cancer prevention and control in 2008. In spite of this large amount of money, cancer still inevitably threatens the less affluent developing countries where only 5% or less of worldwide resources are used (Setse, n.d.). Individuals of these countries are also negatively affected. Research on women with cervical and breast cancer in Nigeria has demonstrated that the disease has resulted in considerable income loss which has affected 68% of patients and 31% of their family members (Arrossia, 2007).

Besides the substantial economic burden, cancer also has two main significant impacts on the society in developing countries. Firstly, it is directly responsible for many deaths. Boutayeb and Boutayeb (2005) suggest that in 2000 developing countries made up 56% of the 7 million cancer deaths worldwide. In 2007 the number of deaths rose up to 72% according to the WHO (2011). These cancer cases and deaths have an impact on the society in terms of families with cancer patients. A survey conducted on 120 patients with cervical cancer in Argentina has demonstrated that 39% of families has had an interruption to work, which has led to a reduction in income and a cut in basic services such as electricity (Arrossia, 2007). Secondly, on a positive note, cancer has brought about a rise in the public’s awareness of its risk factors. In the case of China, about $6 million has been invested by the Guangdong government to take better control of rubbish dumps, which were considered to be responsible for the Yuanfeng cancer village (Liu, 2010). Moreover, the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, in which 168 countries are involved, is taking on a more important role in controlling tobacco use. This treaty is widely considered to be of great help in reducing cancer cases and economic loss (American Cancer...
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