Psychosocial and economic problems of parents of children with epilepsy.
The parents of children with epilepsy (PCE) face multiple psychosocial and economic problems that are often neglected. We undertook this study to ascertain these problems among the patients attending a tertiary referral center for epilepsy in India. A structured questionnaire was administrated to parents of 50 children aged between 5-10 years and having epilepsy for more than 1 year's duration. Some 52% of the children had partial epilepsy whilst the remaining had generalized epilepsy. The median seizure frequency was one per 6 months. The majority of the patients (86%) were living in villages. The family income was less than 1000 Rs per month (1 USD = 42 INR) for 66% of the patients. A decline in social activities, after the onset of epilepsy in their children, was reported by 80% of the parents. Daily routines were significantly affected in over 75% of the parents. Parents had been experiencing frustration (52%) and hopelessness (76%), whilst 60% were in financial difficulties. The most important item of expenditure was cost of drugs or cost of travel to hospital for 54% and 36% parents respectively. Impaired emotional status and poor social adaptation were co-related with the severity of epilepsy (frequent seizures/generalized seizures/attention disorder) and low economic status of the parents. These observations need to be borne in mind while organizing rehabilitation programs for epilepsy. (+info)
The health impact of economic sanctions.
Embargoes and sanctions are tools of foreign policy. They can induce a decline in economic activity in addition to reducing imports and untoward health effects can supervene, especially among older persons and those with chronic illnesses. Often, violations of the rights of life, health, social services, and protection of human dignity occur among innocent civilians in embargoed nations. This paper examines the effects of embargoes and sanctions against several nations, and calls for studies to determine ways in which economic warfare might be guided by the rule of humanitarian international law, to reduce the effects on civilians. It suggests that the ability to trade in exempted goods and services should be improved, perhaps by establishing uniform criteria and definitions for exemptions, operational criteria under which sanctions committees might function, and methods for monitoring the impact of sanctions on civilian populations in targeted states, particularly with regard to water purity, food availability, and infectious-disease control. Prospective studies are advocated, to generate the data needed to provide better information and monitoring capacity than presently exists. (+info)
Rapid economic growth and 'the four Ds' of disruption, deprivation, disease and death: public health lessons from nineteenth-century Britain for twenty-first-century China?
Rapid economic growth has always entailed serious disruption: environmental, ideological, and political. As a result the relationship between economic growth and public health is complex since such disruption always threatens to spill over into deprivation, disease and death. The populations of most current high-income, high-life expectancy countries of 'the West' endured several decades of severely compromised health when they first experienced industrialization in the last century Although health technologies have moved on, the social, administrative and political disruption accompanying economic growth can still impede the delivery of health improvements. The case history of 19th-century laissez-faire Britain is explored in some detail to demonstrate the importance of these social and political forces, particularly the relative vigour and participatory nature of local government, linking to recent work on the importance of social capital in development. For a country like China today, paradoxically, there is nothing that needs such careful planning as a 'free market' economy. (+info)
The challenge for Cuba.
The restrictions of a U.S. trade embargo and the collapse of the Soviet Union marked the beginning of a period of extreme economic hardship in Cuba. Economic adversity has had tremendous effects, both positive and negative, on all aspects of life on the Island, including environmental and public health. (+info)
Life expectancy in Central and Eastern European countries and newly independent states of the former Soviet Union: changes by gender.
AIM: To examine changes in life expectancy at birth for countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union (NIS) for the period 1989-1996. Differences in the change by gender were examined and several factors which likely bear on the changes were discussed. Methods. Data from the WHO Health for All European Data Base were used to determine changes in life expectancy and selected economic factors for CEE and NIS countries. RESULTS: Changes in life expectancy varied by gender in both CEE and the NIS, with the difference increasing for the two groups during the period with the largest increase occurring in the NIS. Both male and female life expectancy declined, with male life expectancy dropping at a more rapid rate. In 1994, the year in which most, but not all countries, reached a low point, life expectancy for males had declined below 60 years for two countries. CONCLUSIONS: The most striking point about the decline in life expectancies was the short period in which the declines occurred, especially in the NIS. It is not possible to determine the exact cause for the changes, but there are likely multiple reasons. It is not completely clear why the decline in life expectancy was greater for males, although the linkage between economic and behavioral and lifestyle factors appear to have some association. Further research is necessary to determine why effects by gender vary so greatly and whether the negative outcomes are a short-term anomaly or will persist. (+info)
Health insurance and productivity.
AIM: To provide a conceptual understanding of the basic relationship between health insurance and overall economic productivity, and to look at the human development index as a proxy for the quality of human capital. METHODS: Economic data and data related to human development in Central and Eastern European (CEE) countries, including Croatia, were compared to the European Union (EU) average. Data were selected out of databases provided by the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the United Nations. Income and growth rates were related to the EU averages. The human development index was used to compare the level of the average achievements in the longevity of life, knowledge, and quality of living in CEE countries. RESULTS: Relative to the EU-average, human development is lagging behind in CEE countries. Considering the world as a benchmark regarding human development, 8 out of 13 CEE countries exceed the world. However, all CEE countries have 3-28% lower human development than the industrialized countries. CONCLUSIONS: The specific challenge for transition countries is how to adopt strategies to translate economic progress into health and social gains through reliable institutions, among them social health insurance bodies. The institutions and the provision of social health insurance are particularly challenged at a turning point when transition in terms of macroeconomic stabilization, along with the consolidated organization and financing of social and health insurance schemes, is accommodated to a business cycle-driven market economy. (+info)
The world economic crisis. Part 1: Repercussions on health.
The widespread economic crisis has resulted in a fall in living standards in the western hemisphere of over 9% (1981-83) and in Sub-Saharan Africa they have fallen to the level of 1970. Food production in the African countries most seriously affected by drought dropped by 15% between 1981 and 1983. Living standards also fell in some countries in Europe and in some of the poorest countries of Asia. The high cost of fuel, the heavy burden of interest payments and unfavourable terms of trade in Africa and Latin America led to serious unemployment, devaluation of national currencies and formidable austerity policies. While some countries have succeeded in protecting their health services from cuts in public expenditure, in many others cuts in health budgets have been substantial. The effects of the crisis in some countries have amounted to the virtual disintegration of rural health services. There are limited data available to show what has been happening to levels of expenditure on health, but those presented here demonstrate that levels of health expenditure per head have fallen in many countries. The cumulative effects on health of increased poverty, unemployment, underemployment and famine, and the reduced capacity of health services to respond to health problems can be documented with facts for a number of countries in Latin America and Africa. Malnutrition has increased and improvements in infant mortality have been checked or reversed. The economic crisis has placed at risk the health of the most vulnerable. (+info)
Fish and mammals in the economy of an ancient Peruvian kingdom.
Fish and mammal bones from the coastal site of Cerro Azul, Peru shed light on economic specialization just before the Inca conquest of A. D. 1470. The site devoted itself to procuring anchovies and sardines in quantity for shipment to agricultural communities. These small fish were dried, stored, and eventually transported inland via caravans of pack llamas. Cerro Azul itself did not raise llamas but obtained charqui (or dried meat) as well as occasional whole adult animals from the caravans. Guinea pigs were locally raised. Some 20 species of larger fish were caught by using nets; the more prestigious varieties of these show up mainly in residential compounds occupied by elite families. (+info)