SERVE Ethiopia

SERVE Ethiopia

Phillip J Tuso, MD, FACP

Summer 2009 - Volume 13 Number 3

https://doi.org/10.7812/TPP/08-082

Chronic Disease and The World Health Organization

It is estimated that 35,000,000 people died from chronic diseases around the world in 2008. Every year, more than 60% of all deaths worldwide are because of chronic disease. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that for the first time in history deaths from chronic diseases will soon exceed deaths from communicable diseases, maternal and perinatal conditions, and nutritional deficiencies combined in low-income countries.1

According to WHO, comprehensive and integrated action is the means to prevent and control chronic disease.2 In developing countries, such as Ethiopia, chronic disease is a growing problem. Like many other chronic diseases, the incidence of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in Ethiopia is rising because of increased risk factors such as high blood pressure and diabetes mellitus.3 Despite the high prevalence of HIV in Africa (25% in some antenatal clinics), HIV nephropathy incidence is fairly low. In Africa, End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) remains a mostly fatal disease.4 Treatment considered the norm in industrialized countries is limited in Africa: dialysis is dependent on the availability of funding and charitable contributions.5,6 Few governments cover the cost of renal replacement therapy. For a variety of reasons, primarily financial, medical care in third world countries is inadequate at best, especially for expensive chronic illness treatment therapies such as dialysis and transplantation.5,6

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