Fact Sheets

These materials present short summaries of selected topics, diseases, and conditions. They are arranged with the newest material on top. You can easily sort by Title, Type, or Date by clicking on a column heading.
Economics and Cost-Effectiveness, Finance, Finance and Cost-Effectiveness, Health Systems Tax and Spend for Better Health: Often Overlooked, Fiscal Policies Are Powerful Tools (PDF | 297.8k)
Governments in developed and developing countries use fiscal policies—taxing and spending policies—to improve their nations’ health. These policies include taxing alcohol and tobacco, subsidizing certain foods and medicines, and giving tax breaks to businesses or individuals to pay for health care. Experiences from developing countries show that fiscal policies work well when public institutions are credible and strong, when consumers and producers respond to changes in prices, and when the policies are well designed so that the neediest people benefit. Because fiscal policies do not work well everywhere and for every health objective, governments supplement these policies by providing health care directly and by supporting information campaigns to promote healthy behaviors.
DCPP Fact Sheet Mar 2009
Cancer, Drugs/Vaccines, HIV/AIDS, Pain Control Breaking the Pain Relief Barriers: Cancer and AIDS Patients Need Not Suffer (PDF | 721.6k)
The pain of dying of cancer or AIDS is often unbearable, but it can be controlled simply and inexpensively with painkillers including morphine and other opioids (also called opiates). Although health professionals have long known that these drugs are essential for the relief of moderate to severe pain, the amounts used globally are so small that only a minority of those in need have adequate pain relief. The problem exists in some developed countries and is particularly acute in developing countries. The absence of these drugs is not a problem of supply, but of legal, political, medical, and other barriers that prevent them from becoming available.
DCPP Brief Dec 2008
Diseases and Conditions, Economics and Cost-Effectiveness, Interventions and Strategies The Scourge of Skin Diseases: Most Can Be Resolved With Cost-Effective Treatments (PDF | 671.4k)
In assigning health priorities, skin diseases are sometimes thought of as small-time players in the global league of illnesses that include fatal diseases such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Health planners often pay little attention to skin conditions, and health care workers are often unable to diagnose or treat them. However, skin problems are among the most common diseases seen in primary health care settings in tropical areas, causing relentless and unnecessary suffering.
DCPP Fact Sheet Dec 2008
Economics and Cost-Effectiveness, HIV/AIDS, Interventions and Strategies, Lifestyle, Prevention Addiction to Heroin and Other Opiates: Developing Countries Need Strategies to Reduce Harm (PDF | 315.2k)
The illicit use of opiates - drugs derived from opium - has serious health and economic consequences in developed and developing countries alike. More than 15 million adults, or about 0.4 percent of the world's adult population, were estimated to be using these drugs in the early 2000s. One of the most common interventions to stop illicit opiate use, sending users to prison, has been shown to be the least effective way to address addiction to these drugs. More effective strategies take a medical approach to addiction and aim to reduce harm to the user.
DCPP Fact Sheet Nov 2008
Diseases and Conditions, Interventions and Strategies, Prevention Controlling Kidney Disease: Prevention and Early Detection Are Key (PDF | 672.3k)
Kidney disease and kidney failure are rising globally, particularly in developing countries where the major underlying causes, diabetes and hypertension, are also on the rise. As with all chronic diseases, chronic kidney disease places long-term demands on health care systems. Patients with advanced stages of the disease need some form of renal (kidney) replacement therapy, but the increased demand is unlikely to be met in developing countries because of the complexity and high cost of such therapy. Thus, detecting kidney disease early and managing the underlying causes are key to saving lives.
DCPP Fact Sheet Nov 2008
Ethics, Women's Health Sex, Gender, and Women's Health: Why Women Usually Come Last (PDF | 694.0k)
Around the world, the interplay of biology and culture, or nature and nurture, brings about differences in men's and women's health, which have been largely overlooked in clinical studies that use only men as subjects. Although women live longer than men almost everywhere, they suffer from more illnesses and disabilities throughout their lives.
DCPP Fact Sheet Nov 2008
Interventions and Strategies, Lifestyle, Prevention Breathing Easier: Preventing Chronic Respiratory Diseases in Adults (PDF | 743.1k)
Chronic respiratory diseases afflict hundreds of millions of adults worldwide. The most serious of these diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lacks a headline-grabbing name but leaves sufferers gasping for breath until it eventually takes their lives. COPD accounted for more than 3 million deaths in 2007-about 5 percent of deaths worldwide.
DCPP Fact Sheet Nov 2008
Emergency Medical Services Renforcement des services médicaux d'urgence: Une question de vie ou de mort dans les pays à faible revenu (PDF | 686.4k)
French translation - Emergency Medical Services
DCPP Fact Sheet Oct 2008
Emergency Medical Services Reforzar los servicios médicos de urgencia: Un tema de vida o muerte en países de bajos ingresos (PDF | 296.1k)
Spanish translation - Emergency Medical Services
DCPP Fact Sheet Oct 2008
Drugs/Vaccines Asegurar el suministro de medicamentos y vacunas en los países en desarrollo: Sin medicamentos los pacientes mueren sin necesidad (PDF | 691.8k)
Spanish translation - Ensuring Supplies of Drugs and Vaccines in Developing Countries
DCPP Fact Sheet Oct 2008
Drugs/Vaccines Ensuring Supplies of Drugs and Vaccines in Developing Countries: Without Medicines, Patients Die Needlessly (PDF | 712.6k)
Despite recent advances in global health, nearly one-third of the world's population lacks access to modern drugs and vaccines. The majority of these people are extremely poor, live in remote rural areas, or both. They are denied life-saving medicines not only because of income or geography: Access to essential drugs and vaccines requires a well-coordinated system for selecting, financing, purchasing, and distributing the supplies, as well as ensuring that people use them correctly.
DCPP Fact Sheet Oct 2008
Emergency Medical Services Strengthening Emergency Medical Services: A Matter of Life and Death in Low-Income Countries (PDF | 676.3k)
Anyone can have a need for emergency medical care - a pregnant woman in a remote, rural area who has childbirth complications, or an urban dweller who has a car crash. Emergency conditions, by definition, occur suddenly, and rapid and responsive services can vastly increase one's chances of survival.
DCPP Fact Sheet Oct 2008
Drugs/Vaccines Comment garantir l'approvisionnement en médicaments et en vaccins dans les pays en développement: Sans médicaments, les patients meurent futilement (PDF | 376.9k)
French translation - Ensuring Supplies of Drugs and Vaccines in Developing Countries
DCPP Fact Sheet Oct 2008
Child and Adolescent Health, Community Health, Diseases and Conditions, Helminthic Infections, Sanitation Deworming Children Brings Huge Health and Development Gains in Low-Income Countries (PDF | 300.1k)
Helminth infections afflict more than 1 billion women, men, and children worldwide and are responsible for 150,000 deaths annually. These infections severely affect the physical growth and educational attainment of children, but can be reduced or eliminated through drug treatment, sanitation, and health education interventions.
DCPP Fact Sheet Aug 2008
Surgery Promoting Essential Surgery in Low-Income Countries: A Hidden, Cost-Effective Treasure (PDF | 682.9k)
Health conditions that require surgery have not typically been a top priority in developing countries: They are considered to be at the end of the spectrum of curative care and unaffordable in low-income settings.
DCPP Fact Sheet Jun 2008
Economics and Cost-Effectiveness, Finance and Cost-Effectiveness L'analyse coût-efficacité au service de la définition des priorités de santé (PDF | 289.4k)
French translation
DCPP Fact Sheet Jun 2008
Finance and Cost-Effectiveness, Health Systems, Hospitals Referral Hospitals: Vital Services, not Disease Palaces (PDF | 283.0k)
In developing countries, referral hospitals have long been thought to consume too great a share of health budgets while making limited contributions to improving the health of the whole population. Referral hospitals include secondary and tertiary-level hospitals that are usually located in urban centers and are designed to provide specialized care to patients referred from lower levels of the health system.
DCPP Fact Sheet May 2008
Economics and Cost-Effectiveness, Finance and Cost-Effectiveness Uso del análisis de la eficacia en función del costo para establecer prioridades de salud (PDF | 678.9k)
Uso del an
DCPP Fact Sheet May 2008
Community Health, Interventions and Strategies, Surveillance Public Health Surveillance: The Best Weapon to Avert Epidemics (PDF | 655.7k)
Public health surveillance provides real-time, early warning information to decisionmakers about health problems that need to be addressed in a particular population. It is a critical tool to prevent outbreaks of diseases and develop appropriate, rapid responses when diseases begin to spread. Training and equipping health workers in developing countries with the skills and technology for surveillance are an absolute necessity in today?s world.
DCPP Fact Sheet May 2008
Research and Development, Technology Unleashing Science and Technology for Disease Control: A Global Perspective Would Benefit Developing Countries (PDF | 285.0k)
Increasingly rapid advances in science and technology have saved or extended the lives of millions of people worldwide. But industrialized and developing countries have not shared the gains equally: People living in dire poverty in developing countries still lack access to basic care that could prevent or cure diseases and other health conditions.
DCPP Fact Sheet May 2008
Community Health, Interventions and Strategies, Surveillance La vigilancia de la salud pública: La mejor arma para evitar epidemias (PDF | 284.5k)
Spanish translation
DCPP Fact Sheet May 2008
Community Health, Interventions and Strategies, Surveillance La surveillance de la santé publique: La meilleure arme contre les épidémies (PDF | 968.2k)
French translation
DCPP Fact Sheet May 2008
Global Health Programs: Do They Work? Many Unheralded Successes Despite Weak Health Systems (PDF | 662.0k)
When it comes to global health, bad news usually gets more attention than good news. The HIV/AIDS epidemic is ravaging many communities in Sub-Saharan Africa; millions of infants die before their first birthday; and chronic diseases like diabetes are on the rise. The good, but often overlooked, news is that gains in health over the last half century have been unprecedented in human history. In developing countries, death rates have fallen dramatically and average life expectancy has risen from 40 years in 1950 to 65 years today.
DCPP Fact Sheet Apr 2008
Economics and Cost-Effectiveness, Finance, Finance and Cost-Effectiveness, Health Policy, Legislation Using Cost-Effectiveness Analysis for Setting Health Priorities (PDF | 276.4k)
Governments around the world face budget constraints that compel them to make tough decisions about how best to invest funds for public health. They need a way to evaluate which investments will address the most pressing health problems and bring the greatest health gains. Cost-effectiveness analysis is an essential evaluation tool that allows policymakers and health planners to compare the health gains that various interventions can achieve with a given level of inputs.
DCPP Fact Sheet Mar 2008
HIV/AIDS, Infectious Diseases, Prevention, Sexually Transmitted Infections Sexually Transmitted Infections Are Preventable and Treatable, But the Full Benefit Depends on the Local Context (PDF | 343.8k)
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are responsible for a large burden of disease and death in developing countries because of their impact on reproductive and child health, and their role in making HIV transmission more efficient. Globally, almost 57 million Disability-Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) are lost to STIs
DCPP Fact Sheet Jan 2008