Human behavior may slow down progress in the eradication of disease. For example, scientists believe that human-inflicted damaged to ecosystems has resulted in new, dangerous diseases. Since the mid-1970s, more than 30 new diseases have emerged, including AIDS, Ebola, Lyme disease and SARS. Most of these are believed to have moved from wild-life to human populations.

       Additionally, people are eating less fresh fruits and vegetables and more sugar, salt and saturated fat. This together with a decrease in physical activity and other unhealthy habits has resulted in more cardiovascular diseases. Tobacco smoking is on the rise, causing serious health problems and death to millions globally. Every year some 20 million people sustain serious injuries or die as a result of automobile accidents. War and other forms of violence kill and maim countless others. Millions suffer ill health as a result of alcohol or drug abuse.

       The fact is that regardless of the cause, and notwithstanding all the advancements in medical technology, some diseases continue to take a heavy toll. More than 150 million people suffer from depression at any point in time, about 25 million from schizophrenia, and 38 million from epilepsy, HIV\AIDS, diarrheal diseases, malaria, measles, pneumonia, and tuberculosis infect millions, killing countless children and young adults.

      There are other seemingly insurmountable hurdles standing in the way of disease eradication. Poverty and bad government are two big obstacles. In a recent report, WHO stated that millions who die of infectious diseases could be saved were it not for government failure and lack of funding.

        Medical knowledge and related technologies continue to advance at an unprecedented rate. In spite of this, plagues of infectious diseases are still ravaging the world. The killer diseases listed below remain undefeated.

    [1] HIV/AIDS: some 60 million people have been infected with HIV, and about 20 million have died of AIDS. During 2005 there were 5 million new infections and more than three million AIDS-related deaths. The victims included more than 500,000 children. The vast majority of HIV victims have no access to adequate treatment.

    [2] DIARRHEA: with about four billion cases every year, diarrhea is described as a major killer among the poor. It is caused by various infectious diseases that can be spread by contaminated water or food or a lack of good personal hygiene. These infections result in a yearly death toll of more than two million people

 [3] MALARIA: annually, some 300 million people get ill from malaria. About one million victims die every year, many of them children. In Africa one child dies of malaria about every 30 seconds. According to WHO, science still has no magic bullet for malaria and many doubt that such a single solution will ever exist.

[4] MEASLES: during 2003, measles killed more than 500,000 people. A leading cause of death among children, measles is a highly contagious disease. Every year some 30 million people contact measles. Ironically, an effective and inexpensive vaccine against measles has been available for the past 40 years.

[5] PNEUMONIA: more children die of pneumonia than of any other infectious disease, claims WHO. About two million children under the age of five die of pneumonia every year. Most of these deaths take place in Africa and Southeast Asia. In many parts of the world, limited access to health facilities prevents victims from getting lifesaving medical treatment.

[6] TUBERCULOSIS: during 2003, tuberculosis [TB] caused the death of over 1,700,000 people. Of great concern to health officials is the emergence of drug-resistant TB germs. Some strains have developed resistance to all major anti-TB medications. Drug-resistant strains develop in patients who undergo poorly supervised or incomplete medical treatment.
   What do you think about this list? Your comment is needed     


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