WorldView Magazine - Fall 2009 - (Page 24)

Health COULD “PEACE CARE” LESSEN THE GLObAL bURDEN OF DISEASE? A Returned Volunteer with a big idea thinks so by Andrew Dykens, MD, MPH L ow income countries (LICs) be substantial, it would not be feasible continue to be gravely affected without the creation of a large, costly by unabated epidemics of structure. However, the Peace Corps is malaria, tuberculosis, diarrhea-related currently uniquely positioned to have illnesses, and, of course, the ravages of an enormous impact in the field of HIV. Moreover, chronic diseases are global health if an expanded approach is the leading cause of death in the world, pursued. causing an estimated 35 million deaths I would offer a solution: “Peace worldwide in 2005, approximately 67% Care.” The vision of Peace Care is of all-cause mortality. As an example, to utilize the idealism of the Peace the global prevalence of diabetes is Corps, the effectiveness of primary expected to increase from 171 million care, and the foresight of public health to 366 million between 2000 and to positively impact global health 2030. Further, while the impact of disparities by specifically addressing chronic diseases is growing substantially the global burden of disease, the global around the globe, the greatest increase shortage of health care workers, the is located in LICs. However, LICs deficiency of primary care in loware not able to adequately address income countries, and the deficiency these growing health concerns. The of global health research while World Health Organization estimates that there is a shortage of about 4.3 million health care workers globally. Africa has only about 10% of the world’s population and is affected by about 24% of the global disease burden, but has only 3% of the global health workforce. SubSaharan Africa is deficient the 1.5 million workers that would be necessary to provide adequate healthcare. In addition, countries with better developed primary health care systems have been found to have better health indicators. We have a significant challenge before us, to build a healthier world. Some have proposed a “Global Health Corps” as a possible solution. While The author with his Peace Corps host family in Mauritania. the eventual impact could 2 Fall 2009 improving the role of the United States in global health. How? By improving global health training for healthcare professionals and increasing US capacity for active commitment in global health initiatives. Peace Care, in essence, is a proposed collaboration between Peace Corps, US healthcare training institutions, US schools of public health, and global communities to improve the health of these global communities. As the shortage of healthcare workers is due primarily to a lack of training capacity in LICs, the potential for great impact comes from the ability to transfer the training capacity of the US institution, in collaboration with local physicians and existing healthcare workers, to the

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of WorldView Magazine - Fall 2009

WorldView Magazine - Fall 2009
President's Letter
Your Turn
Are You Connected Yet? Join Africa Rural Connect
Group News Highlights
Why Investment in Health Is Critical Now
New Hope and Lessons from Rwanda
Turning a Blind Eye
A Question of Capacity
When Water and Sanitation Are a Priority
Could “Peace Care” Lessen the Global Burden of Disease?
One, Two, Three
Translating International Health to Health Care at Home
Turning Tragedy to Opportunity
Costa Rica: Finding My Religion
St. Lucia: Learning about Hunger
Seven Dusty Notebooks
Peace Corps Service 2.0
The Peace Corps Community Making a Difference
Community News
Advertiser Index

WorldView Magazine - Fall 2009