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DU researchers find that headway being made fighting communicable diseases globally
Date:3/14/2011

g countries.

Still, nearly 10 million children die every year, mostly from communicable diseases. Had children in poorer countries died at the same rate as those in high-income countries, there would have been about 9 million fewer child deaths that year.

"We're bringing the communicable diseases under control malaria for example with interventions such as more bed netting to protect from mosquitoes; AIDS death rates are also on a downward trend," Hughes says.

However, Hughes points out that some parts of Africa particularly in the north and south are experiencing higher obesity rates and rising incidences of associated diseases such as diabetes now that incomes are rising.

Another issue is environmental impacts on disease such as localized air pollution from the burning of solid fuels in poor countries. Hughes says they forecast a decrease in these problems, but disease related to urban air pollution and global warming is expected to increase.

Overall, Hughes says life expectancies are getting higher around the globe, too. "We're doing many significant things right," he says. "We've been good, for example, at attacking specific diseases such as smallpox and polio. On a global basis we've seen some great success."

Nevertheless, Hughes says barriers to better health that still exist include money and the knowledge and technology to develop vaccines for malaria and AIDS. What's more, he says, it's difficult to set up comprehensive health services to treat a wide range of health threats. Examples of those threats are maternal mortality and heart disease.

The volume's other authors include Randall Kuhn, director of DU's Global Health Affairs program, Cecilia Peterson, Dale Rothman and Jos Solrzano. The book can be downloaded for free or ordered online.

Hughes spoke about analyzing worldwide solutions at the 2010 TEDxDU at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts on the University of Denver c
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Contact: Jim Berscheidt
Jim.Berscheidt@du.edu
303-871-3172
University of Denver
Source:Eurekalert

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