Leading killers of the future

Road accidents are on track to become a major cause of death for children in sub-Saharan Africa. Photo: PATH/Amy MacIver.

Road accidents are on track to become a major cause of death for children in sub-Saharan Africa. Photo: PATH/Amy MacIver.

If  trends continue, in less than five years road accidents could join malaria as a top killer of children in sub-Saharan Africa.

A report out this week from the World Bank takes a look at the effects in the region of road safety and rising rates of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), such as diabetes and cancer. Quoted in The Guardian, the report’s co-author, Dr. Jill Ferrington, says the rise in accidents and NCDs may share some of the same causes, including a rapid shift toward urbanization, rising incomes, and consumption of alcohol.

Road deaths, cancer, diabetes becoming Africa’s hidden epidemics

The Guardian, August 5, 2013

Road traffic deaths in sub-Saharan Africa are predicted to rise by 80 percent by 2020, according to a World Bank report, which found the region to have the highest number of accidents, but the fewest vehicles on the road.

An estimated 24.1 people per 100,000 are killed in traffic accidents every year, according to the bank. Younger and poorer people are disproportionately vulnerable: accidents on the road are expected to become the biggest killer of children between 5 and 15 by 2015, outstripping malaria and AIDS.

Read the article.

Overcoming India’s menstruation taboo

The Atlantic, August 2, 2013

Inside the dark and dingy room on the terrace of a house in Tirupur, Coimbatore—the textile hub in the southern state of Tamil Nadu in India—six women are hard at work. “We have just two hours before the power is out and we have a target,” Indumati shouts over the blaring sound of a compressor in the room. Cotton-like dust fills the humid room, but the women seem to be at ease even without masks. I cover my nose with a scarf as I watch them make the biodegradable sanitary napkins.

The women bought the machines from a company called Jayashree Industries a little more than a year ago. A social entrepreneur, Arunachalam Muruganantham, manufactures them in a neighboring town, Coimbatore.

Read the article.

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Posted in Featured posts, Health technologies, Noncommunicable disease | Permalink

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