Policy and Health In Asia: Demographic and Epidemiologic Transitions
RAND CORP SANTA MONICA CA
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From 1960 to 1995, health status dramatically improved in Asia and the Pacific. For example average under-five mortality rates in Asia was more than halved over that period. Despite these aggregate gains, large disparities still exist between countries and within countries, particularly among women and children. In Asia, these disparities are driven by a profound epidemiologic transition and its associated demographic transition the burden of infectious diseases, childhood deaths, and fertility rates are all declining. In particular, these transitions are having an impact on how policymakers prioritize interventions to deal with the burden of disease, both now and into the future. Research by John Peabody and colleagues has taken a closer look at these two transitions. They find that while large parts of Asia remain firmly in the grip of poverty with relatively high mortality and morbidity largely from communicable diseases e.g., South-Asia, other areas are rapidly joining the ranks of more-developed countries, with an epidemiologic profile that tends toward noncommunicable diseases e.g., East Asia The result is that governments in much of Asia must grapple on the one hand with the unfinished agenda of communicable diseases and on the other with the new agenda of noncommunicable ones in an aging population.
- Medicine and Medical Research