Health and Disease

Throughout my research of the global issue of Health and Disease, I am surprised to discover that most of these diseases affect the children of our world. For example, UNICEF declares that about 19,000 children under the age of five die each day, mostly of preventable causes. However, this number has reduced since the 1990s. When UNICEF produced a progress report in 2012 on child mortality rates under the age of five, they discovered that the number had dropped from 12 million in 1990 to about 6.9 million in 2011. Because of this drastic issue of early child deaths, 80 country representatives are now working together to save 45 million children by 2035.

The main reasons that these innocent children are dying is from not having the access to simple necessities: things that are available to most of us everyday. In fact, about 1/3 of all child deaths are connected to malnutrition. It has been shown that once a child is malnourished, they are more prone to other severe, fatal diseases. Most of these deaths occur throughout Africa and southeast Asia. The solution to this problem is vaccines. This is where we come in. Almost all of the families that have lost a child due to these causes cannot afford a vaccine. If these children are our next generation and in fact our future, why not save them?

On another note, a report in early 2012 stated that dementia is becoming a huge global problem. Studies show that dementia has claimed 1 in 8 over the age of 65 and 1 in 2.5 over the age of 85. The World Health Organization (WHO) is worried that these statistics will rise in the next decades if nothing is done. Not only does dementia affect the victim, but also the family and their community. Dementia is characterized as a disease of the brain. The brain ultimately loses its function, leading to the loss of memory, language, behavior, and thinking. Alzheimer’s is one of the most common forms of dementia. This particular WHO report says that a new dementia case occurs every four seconds. Because there is no cure to this devastating disease, health organizations are working to improve the lives of those who are affected. Doctors state that we must search politically and emotionally for more effective treatments and preventions.

Finally, we are having other health problems closer to home. In the United States, 2/3 of all adults are either obese or overweight. This is a 50% rise since the 1960s. Obesity is also affecting U.S. children as well. Once declared obese, people’s lives are cut short by about five-twenty years. This will eventually affect the overall population. Many health organizations hope that the life-shortening effects of obesity and even diabetes will help influence others to become healthier and ultimately raise life expectancy. Others believe that the decline of life expectancy is inevitable. However, the United Nations states that by 2300, life expectancy in all countries for both male and female will be 100 years.

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One thought on “Health and Disease

  1. It’s interesting that the cause of the deaths is malnutrition, but the solution is vaccines. I would think that the solution would be better nutrition. Could you explain the relationship between malnutrition and vaccines in more detail?

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