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Chronic Disease in Poor Countries

By: Kristine Alarcon

Health problems such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease have recently been increasing in countries outside of the Western world.

Dr. Jeremy I. Swartz, an assistant professor of general medicine and senior author of a research paper focusing on the East Africa region, says “There are major transitions underway in the epidemiology of disease throughout the world from communicable to chronic disease.” (Kashef)

It can be difficult for poorer countries as there may not be much policy or funding for preventative measures.

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Though this may be an issue, global awareness for chronic diseases is on the rise. Even though there are even efforts to remedy the problem in countries such as Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi, they may not always be the right solution. These efforts often offer a “disease-specific” approach.

Since there are common risk factors among chronic diseases, there should be a focus on primary healthcare infrastructure and improving the overall health system.

Dr. Sandeep P. Kishore, a postdoctoral fellow in the Human Nature Lab at Yale and president of the Young Professional Chronic Disease Network, works to provide better access to medication for patients suffering from chronic disease. With his co-authors, Kishore focuses on policy recommendations in the public and private sectors and offer possible solutions to help remedy the issue.

He states, “Chronic diseases are the social justice of our generation, and they deserve to be treated. We affirm that the time to act has now come.” (Kashef)

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Kristine Alarcon is certified in Sterile Processing and Distribution in California and is pursing a Masters in Public Health at Drexel University. She is a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine.



Kashef, Ziba. “Research in the news: Tackling chronic diseases in poor countries.” YaleNews. Retrieved on September 11, 2015.

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