Combat HIV / AIDS, malaria, and other diseases

HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria are among the world’s biggest killers, and all have their greatest impact on poor countries and poor people. These diseases interact in ways that make their combined impact worse. Effective prevention and treatment programs will save lives, reduce poverty, and help economies develop.

The economic burden of epidemics such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS on families and communities is enormous. Estimates suggest that tuberculosis costs the average patient three or four months of lost earnings, which can represent up to 30 percent of annual household income; Malaria slows economic growth in Africa by about 1.3 percent a year; and when the prevalence of HIV/AIDS reaches 8 percent the cost in growth is estimated at about 1 percent a year.

Reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

In 2003, 36 million adults and 2 million children were living with HIV/AIDS – more than 98 of them in developing countries and 66 percent in Sub-Saharan Africa. There were almost a million new cases in South and East Asia, where more than 7 million people are now living with HIV/AIDS. Prevention programmes reach fewer than one in five people who need them. Comprehensive prevention could avert 29 million of the 45 million new infections projected by 2010. Five to six million people need HIV treatment in low- and middle-income countries, yet only 7% — or 400,000 people — had access by end of 2003.

HIV strikes at youth — women are particularly vulnerable

More than half of those newly infected with HIV today are between 15 and 24 years old. With rates of almost 13 percent for males and 6 percent for females, East and Southern Africa is the region of the world hit hardest. East Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East and North Africa have the lowest rates.

Malaria

Malaria is endemic in large parts of the developing world, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions. Because many cases of malaria are not clinically diagnosed or reported to official agencies, it is hard to gauge the full extent of the epidemic. The World Health Organization estimates that 300-500 million cases occur each year, leading to 1.1 million deaths. Almost 90 percent of all cases occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, where children are the most affected and malaria may account for as much as 25 percent of child mortality.

Treated bednets are a proven way to combat malaria, but they are still not widely used

An effective means of preventing new infections is the use of insecticide-treated bed nets. Vietnam, where more than 16 percent of children sleep under treated bed nets, has made significant strides in controlling malaria. But in Africa, only 7 of 27 countries with survey data reported rates of bed net use greater than 5 percent

Partners

HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria are among the world’s biggest killers, and all have their greatest impact on poor countries and poor people. These diseases interact in ways that make their combined impact worse. Effective prevention and treatment programs will save lives, reduce poverty, and help economies develop.

The economic burden of epidemics such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV/AIDS on families and communities is enormous. Estimates suggest that tuberculosis costs the average patient three or four months of lost earnings, which can represent up to 30 percent of annual household income; Malaria slows economic growth in Africa by about 1.3 percent a year; and when the prevalence of HIV/AIDS reaches 8 percent the cost in growth is estimated at about 1 percent a year.

Tuberculosis

kills around 2 million people a year, most of them 15-45 years old. The emergence of drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis; the spread of HIV/AIDS, which reduces resistance to tuberculosis; and the growing number of refugees and displaced persons have allowed the disease to spread. Each year there are about 8 million new cases – 2 million in Sub-Saharan Africa, 3 million in Southeast Asia, and more than a quarter million in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. However, using the treatment strategy developed by the World Health Organization – directly observed treatment, short course (DOTS) – that emphasizes positive diagnosis followed by effective course of treatment and follow-up care, cure rates of up to 95 percent, even in poor countries, can be achieved. While some countries have made rapid progress in DOTS detection rates, those with high tuberculosis burdens are not increasing detection rates toward the 70 percent target.

Number of people affected by tuberculosis

With an incidence of tuberculosis of 358 per 100,000 people in 2002, Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest tuberculosis rates. The epidemic is worsening in Europe and Central Asia. The lowest rates are in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East and North Africa

Comments are closed.