Do we need another reason to combat disease in the developing world?

Places that harbour a lot of parasites and pathogens not only suffer the debilitating effects of disease on their workforces, but also have their human capital eroded, child by child, from birth. Economist

A starving Sudanese child being stalked by a vulture won Kevin Carter the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for feature photography.

This research featured in this weeks economist and emanating from Christopher Eppig at the University of New Mexico reveals the findings that infectious diseases cause reduced human intelligence and the obvious corollary that the control of these diseases is crucial to a country’s development. We knew vaccination, clean water and proper sewerage transformed public health, what we hadn’t appreciated is their impact on cognition and intellect. This may be seen as another reason to increase health interventions in the developing world. It is. But did we really need another reason to confront the daily indictment of 28,000 child deaths? (I don’t want to ignore the progress that has been made since 1990 when the figure was 40,000, but infant mortality and life expectancy in the third world are still tragically high).

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About Julia Manning

Julia Manning is a social entrepreneur, writer, campaigner and commentator. She is based in London and is the founder and Chief Executive of 2020health, an independent, social enterprise Think Tank whose aim is to Make Health Personal. Through networking, technology, research, relationships and campaigning 2020health has influenced opinion and action in fields as diverse as bioethics, alcohol, emerging technologies, fraud, education, consumer technology and vaccination. Julia studied visual science at City University and became a member of the College of Optometrists in 1991. Her career has included being a visiting lecturer at City University, a visiting clinician at the Royal Free Hospital, working with south London Primary Care Trusts and as a Director of the UK Institute of Optometry. She specialised in diabetes (University of Warwick Certificate in Diabetic Care) and founded Julia Manning Eyecare in 2004, a home and prison visiting practice for people with mental and physical disabilities using the latest digital technology, which she sold to Healthcall (now part of Specsavers) in 2009. Experiences of working in the NHS, contributing to policy development, raising two children in the inner-city and standing in the General Election in Bristol in 2005 led to Julia forming 2020health at the end of 2006. Julia is a regular guest on TV and radio shows such as BBC News, ITV’s Daybreak/ GMB, Channel 5 News, BBC 1′s The Big Questions, BBC Radio, LBC and has taken part in debates and contributed to BBC’s Newsnight, Panorama, You and Yours and ITV’s The Week. She is mum to a rugby-mad son, a daughter passionate about Shakespeare, and wife of a comprehensive school assistant head-teacher. She loves gardening, ballet, Zimbabwe, her Westies Skye and Angus, is an honorary research associate at UCL and a Fellow of the RSA.
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One Response to Do we need another reason to combat disease in the developing world?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Do we need another reason to combat disease in the developing world? | 2020health's Blog -- Topsy.com

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