Tropical Medicine

Major Tropical Diseases

Major Tropical Diseases

Numerous tropical diseases collectively affect health of millions worldwide every year. Tropical diseases are spread by unsanitary conditions and contaminated water or food sources in tropical and subtropical regions. Increasingincidenceof tropical diseases is a result of large scalehuman migration, population growth, deterioration inpublic healthinfrastructure and rise in tourism. Global focus is now on funding and increasing preventive measures, access to healthcare services and pharmaceuticals for eradicating burden of tropical diseases.

Tropical diseases and Public Health

Tropical diseases are emerging as public health issue and difficult to prevent or control in subtropical and tropical regions. They cover diseases that are communicable, non-communicable and caused by genetic disorders, nutritional deficiencies or environmental conditions encountered in tropical areas. They pose economic and social obstacles in development, responsible for human suffering and high mortality rates. There are number of tropical diseases widespread under the influence of factors such as lack of clean water, unsanitary conditions, unaffordable medical care and poverty. The greenhouse effect, advent of travel and increasing global temperature influences the spread of vectors and tropical diseases to other latitudes. Tropical diseases like HIV/AIDS, malaria, cholera, Chagas disease,yellow fever, dengue, respiratory diseases such as tuberculosis and sexually transmitted diseases are of great importance.

Treatment and Prevention of Tropical Diseases

Tropical medicine is the study of tropical diseases that has eliminated many tropical diseases in developed countries. These diseases still remain major source of morbidity and mortality in poor,underdeveloped and marginalized rural regions. Physicians and healthcare professionals practising tropical medicine diagnose and treat a variety of health issues occurring in tropical and subtropical regions. There is a growing demand among healthcare personnel and physicians to correctly diagnose and treat tropical diseases of viral, bacterial and parasitic origin like yellow fever, malaria, leishmaniasis, leprosy, brucellosis, typhoid, etc.

Some diseases can be controlled through increased awareness programmes and advances in prevention and treatment methods. Efforts of prevention and control of tropical diseases is challenged by significant economic and social problems, limited international visibility of the diseases, lack of medical access and local education. Drugs and other interventions available to large number of people for prevention, treatment, vector control, sanitation andhygieneimprovements are highly effective in fighting against tropical diseases. Newly patented compounds have shown significant improvements with fewer side effects and lower toxicity.

Commitment to prevent, control, eliminate or eradicate the disease depends on better understanding of the pathogen’s biological life cycle which requires political will and resource funding to maintain such goals once achieved. Increasing international attention can improve research funding and accessibility to medical care.Future programs with an emphasis on merit based, peer-reviewed research and training initiatives operating in developing countries on long term basis is essential. Health management systems must analyze trends of morbidity and mortality; ensure interventions for many diseases in mass treatment programs at health facilities; track delivery of quality services; determine and control intervention costs and inequities in resource allocation.Prioritizing health setups to combat tropical diseases requires defining and quantifying diseases; assessing the efficacy, safety and cost of interventions; and translating cost effective analysed intervention to the public.

Online Course in Tropical Medicine

James Lind Institute (JLI) provides an online program in Advance PG Diploma in Tropical medicine, Surveillance and Immunization for better understanding of tropical diseases.

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