Kousaku Komiya writes:

We can easily find variations of health care and heath care results in each country type, depending on whether the country is developed or developing. For example, of the world's 51 million deaths, 40% were caused by communicable diseases; 99 Εμ of deaths from communicable diseases and from maternal, perinatal and neonatal causes occur in the developing world. A pregnant woman in Africa is 13.5 times more likely to die in childbirth than one in Europe, while the mothers of more than half of the babies born in the least developed countries have no prenatal care.

In the developed countries, thanks to improvements in medicine, life expectancy is rising . One of the causes of mortality, communicable diseases, has been decreasing. Although the developed countries are able to prevent communicable diseases, it's difficult for them to prevent uncommunicable diseases. For example, many of this latter type of disease are lifestyle-related, such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. But, this is not the fact in the developing countries. The developing countries can't prevent even communicable diseases.

In the developing world, 1 in 2 deaths is caused by communicable disease, whereas in the developed world 3 out of 4 deaths are due noncommunicable diseases. I think the main problems are the following: The gap in health care between developing and developed countries, and the measures of the characteristic diseases between these countries.

Generally speaking, how do we see the gap between the countries? Maybe many people feel that developed countries are rich, have many skyscrapers, and businessmen are working for companies... while developing countries are poor and have a lot of jungle or desert, and people are hunting or engaged in agriculture. But, these stereotypes do cause the gap between countries.

Why has there been a medical gap between the countries? Simply put, this is because the developed countries can afford to spend a lot of money, while developing countries can't. Therefore, medical standards are low and people suffer from communicable diseases in the developing countries. Then, people in the developed countries feel a great pity for them and mainly give them economic help. It seems to be a warm-hearted deed, but actually the effect caused by the help is only temporary. So, it can't be said that this is a complete solution, because poverty prevents these efforts from having a continued affect.

Now, what should we in the Japanese medical community do?

At first, we have to help in terms of the living environments to reinforce and continue the effects from any medical support. Then, not only money and guidance but also people who work in these countries are essential. We must send technical experts into the field.

Though it is easy to imagine such an ideal, we can't realize this easily. No matter how the UN establishes its systems, if mainly developed countries control it, they system will be suspected by people in the developing countries. Applying economic sanctions or marking low prices on developing countries' products are examples which are considered gains for developed countries' benefit. In this way it seems as if developing countries will stay poor.

We should make every effort to develop the economic power of the developing world. For example, to set high prices on their products and to pay high salaries their labor force would be useful. Then, if they receive medical technology, people in the developing country can continue to work and help their country to develop.

On the other hand, developing countries have to make preparations to receive the developed countries' support so as not to cause the affair like "The Kidnaping in Kirghizia" , japanese experts who work in the country are taken away by the local armed group in 1999. If the country doesn't improve the situation , foreign experts will decrease.

When we accomplish the above examples, the developing countries' economic power will improve, medical standards will be established at higher levels, and therefore communicable diseases will decrease. After these things are accomplished, we can easily expect that developing countries will have new problems, noncommunicable diseases like the developed countries' problem, for example.

Other essays...