A New Malnutrition Vaccine for the World’s Poor

Thursday, June 26, 2014

When we think about the world’s most pressing global health issues, usually diseases or conditions such as HIV/AIDS, malaria or influenza come to mind. Buta report just released in the prestigious medical journal, Blood, reveals that anemia is now one of the most important causes of global illness, especially among women and children. These studies, led by Seattle’s Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation, determined that one-third of the world’s population suffers from at least one form of anemia, which is responsible for almost 9 percent of all of the world’s disability.

For people living in the poorest countries in Asia, Oceana, Latin America and Africa, a neglected tropical disease (NTD) called hookworm is one of the leading causes of anemia. Today more than 400 million people suffer from hookworm, making it one of the most common conditions among people living in poverty.

Hookworms are small worms that attach to the inner lining of the human intestine and suck blood. Infected people can harbor hookworms in their gut for years, eventually losing enough blood to develop moderate or severe anemia. As a result, they experience reduced oxygen delivery to the brain and other vital organs.

Source: Huffington Post (link opens in a new window)

Categories
Health Care
Tags
global health, healthcare technology, infectious diseases