Junichi Nakazawa writes:

Among the other noncommunicable diseases, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases such as chronic bronchitis and emphysema killed nearly 2.9 million adults in 1993, representing about 6% of total deaths, according to the World Health Report (1995). The number of sufferers in the world from these diseases is put at 600 million. This is the second largest known category of persons with a single disorder recorded by WHO. The Report says that there are 275 million asthma sufferers in the world, although WHO has no data on the number of deaths due to this condition. In addition, the Report says, "Smoking is emerging as the world s largest single preventable cause of illness and death. WHO estimates that there are about 1.1 billion smokers in the world today. About 800 million are in the developing world - nearly three times as many as in developed countries. Smoking already kills an average of 3 million adults a year worldwide. If current trends continue, this figure is expected to reach 10 million by the year 2020."

Except for noncommunidable diseases, people in both developed and developing countries suffer from similar diseases. I think this fact indicates both kinds of countries have come to have similar life styles and habits. For example, smoking is an apparent habit which leads people to similar diseases. But most members of the Japanese medical community have standard training, and conduct their treatments in similar ways when in Japan. In developed countries, there must be a system of medical training and care standards similar to those in Japan. But, in developing countries, there may be vastly dissimilar medical conditions. We have to find new ways to distribute medicines and medical care to developing countries' people.

As a first step, we should try to decrease diseases like tuberclosis that have a clear way for examination and treatment by Japanese doctors and nurses. A second step is that we must not let developing countries make the same mistakes Japan used to make. The mistakes I am referring to are largely related to air and water pollution. Even now, there are some people who suffer from this pollution that took place in the 1950-70s when Japan was a developing country. Developed countries today have to teach their knowledge about pollution to developing countries. A third step, then, is that we try to find and keep conditions for maintaining good health, without distinction between developed and developing countries.

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