Shingo Kumadaki writes:

There are some serious problems about the health of adults around the world. First, there is the problem of communicable desease. This kind of disease accounts for about 40% global deaths each year and this mainly occurs in developing countries. Second, there is the problem of noncomnicable diseases. This kind of disease accounts for 36% of deaths globally and is very specific to adults. Third, there is death by external causes and this is also specific to adults. This kind of death, similar to communicable diseases, is also more likely to happen in developing countries.

Deaths from communicable diseasea and from extenal causes are more likely to happen in the poorer, developing countries, since there is little or no medicine, and there are relatively few doctors or medical institutions, and even where there are doctors available, many of them do not have enough knowledge about health or resources to take proper measures to improve people's health.@To improve conditions for people in developing areas, first, relativw to communicable desease, it is very important that people's living environments be clean. Also, this idea is very important to keep infection away. For example, people should wash their hands to avoid infection, or use condoms to avoid sexual disease. Next, to improve the situation for noncomunicable disease, it is important to keep a healthy life style. For example, taking less salt reduces the danger for high blood pressure, or being a non-smoker can help prevent many types of cancer.

Then, what can we Japanese medical professionals do? There are three important things we can do. One is to do medical research, like developping new medicine; another is to give material support, like money and medical equipment. One other idea, last but not least, is to give manpower, like dispatching doctors or other volunteers. From the aspect of the first and second suggestions (doing medical research / giving money, equipment, etc.), Japan is one of the countries that contributes large amounts of resources across the globe. Yet, it is often said by other big countries that Japan doesn't give enough manpower. This is true, but I think this fact in itself is not so bad, because Japan has been developed economically but its land is small compared to other big countries like the USA, nor does Japan have military support which we need to protect those who serve overseas. Also, there is some defficulty due to the fact that Japan has been developed mostly after WWII, only 50 years, so there is not a firmly established system in Japan to help developing countries.

These solutions are not ultimate ones. Then, what can we do really to improve world health? I think there is need for another kind of manpower, education. Through education we can teach other people how to make medicines, how to prevent diseases and many other kinds of knowledge and systems which are needed to help people in developing countries to help themselves keep their health. Moreover, educated people in these countries will teach others, so that a new cycle of self-help can be created.


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