Chronic diseases in developing and newly industrialized countries

A new challenge for global health

The Swiss Health Cooperation Symposium

Death rates caused by infectious diseases have been overtaken by chronic diseases in all parts of the world except southern Africa. Chronic diseases can no longer be regarded as a problem that is exclusive to the developed world.

Many people in Switzerland regard chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular illnesses as lifestyle diseases. The fact that they are becoming an increasing problem in developing and newly industrialized countries is a fact ignored not only by the public at large but also by development aid organizations.

Commonest cause of death

Chronic diseases represent a major challenge for developing and newly industrialized countries and a growing burden to their healthcare systems, which are primarily geared to combating diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis or HIV and AIDS.

Chronic diseases are already the commonest cause of death in Asia, Latin America, the European transition economies and urban Africa. They are affecting a growing number of young people, including children, who are afflicted by various chronic conditions caused by malnutrition and lack of exercise.

Major challenges

This presents major challenges not only for the affected countries, but also for international health policy and non-governmental organizations involved in health cooperation.

This is reason enough to debate the subject with specialists from non-governmental development organizations, government and research and with representatives of international organizations. It also affords an opportunity to share experience and discover approaches to resolving the problems.

The eighth Swiss Health Cooperation Symposium to be organized by Medicus Mundi Switzerland will take place within the established framework.


The speakers

Martin Dahinden, Direktor der Direktion für Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit (Grussbotschaft)

Ruth Bell, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London

Janet Voûte, Welgesundheitsorganisation WHO, Partnerships Adviser Noncummunicable Diseases and Mental Health

Marc Suhrcke, University of East Anglia

Beat Stoll, Institut für Sozial- und Präventivmedizin der Universität Genf

Carole Bucella, Groupes Volontaires Outre-Mer

Bettina Schwethelm, Partnerships in Health

Pauline Guimet, Handicap International

Jochen Ehmer, SolidarMed

Lina Langer, Swiss Red Cross

Marine Gambaryan, National Research Centre for Preventive Medicine Moscow

The agenda

Agenda of the MMS Symposium 2009

Programme and organizational details as pdf file: download

The Swiss Health Cooperation Symposium

Discussing international cooperation and development policy. The Swiss Health Cooperation Symposium targets a broad spectrum of participants active at the na-tional or international level and is organized by Medicus Mundi Switzerland, Network Health for All, which comprises 46 Swiss agencies operating in the field of international health cooperation. The symposium is part of a long-term cooperation agreement with the Swiss Agency for Development and Co-operation SDC, which helps fund the event and provides support with the programming.

Contact: Martin Leschhorn Strebel