The “global burden” of diseases: today and tomorrow
Global health is an area of study and intervention that, through transnational cooperation and multi-sectoral action on factors causing diseases, aims at improving health and obtaining equity in access to prevention and treatment for the whole world population. Thanks to the estimate of the global burden of diseases and the analysis of risk factors and socio-economic determinants, the search for solutions shall be based on scientific evidence and focused on interventions that are necessary especially for the most vulnerable people and populations. Following epidemiological transition, in many countries the burden of infectious diseases has been progressively decreasing, though quite slowly in poor countries, especially in Africa, in favour of non-communicable diseases, related to risk factors such as smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity and improper diets, and car accidents. Future projections show that this trend will continue, requiring a change in national and international mechanisms that operate in the field of health.