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Is the continued existence of diseases of poverty an indictment of our current humanitarian ethos?

Abstract

The continued existence of diseases of poverty is one of the great medical moral dilemmas of the 21st century. That this group of largely either preventable or treatable diseases still plagues a great many of the world’s poorest citizens is a challenging problem to address. This paper examines diseases of poverty not by looking at the pathogenic diseases themselves but by looking at the ‘diseases’ of society that lead to the prevalence of such morbidity. ‘Diseases’ such as lack of infrastructure, lack of nutrition, lack of education, lack of funding and lack of socioeconomic stability. By addressing each of these, in turn, this paper looks to stimulate thought on how society can approach and prevent diseases of poverty in the future.

  • social medicine
  • medical ethics
  • health economics
  • health policy
  • tropical medicine
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