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      The Global Burden of Disease Assessments—WHO Is Responsible?

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          Abstract

          The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) concept has been used by the World Health Organization (WHO) for its reporting on health information for nearly 10 years. The GBD approach results in a single summary measure of morbidity, disability, and mortality, the so-called disability-adjusted life year (DALY). To ensure transparency and objectivity in the derivation of health information, WHO has been urged to use reference groups of external experts to estimate burden of disease.

          Under the leadership and coordination of WHO, expert groups have been appraising and abstracting burden of disease information. Examples include the Child Health Epidemiology Reference Group (CHERG), the Malaria Monitoring and Evaluation Reference Group (MERG), and the recently established Foodborne Disease Burden Epidemiology Reference Group (FERG). The structure and functioning of and lessons learnt by these groups are described in this paper.

          External WHO expert groups have provided independent scientific health information while operating under considerable differences in structure and functioning. Although it is not appropriate to devise a single “best practice” model, the common thread described by all groups is the necessity of WHO's leadership and coordination to ensure the provision and dissemination of health information that is to be globally accepted and valued.

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          Most cited references 39

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          The world health report 2002 - reducing risks, promoting healthy life.

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            Re-evaluating the burden of rabies in Africa and Asia.

            To quantify the public health and economic burden of endemic canine rabies in Africa and Asia. Data from these regions were applied to a set of linked epidemiological and economic models. The human population at risk from endemic canine rabies was predicted using data on dog density, and human rabies deaths were estimated using a series of probability steps to determine the likelihood of clinical rabies developing in a person after being bitten by a dog suspected of having rabies. Model outputs on mortality and morbidity associated with rabies were used to calculate an improved disability-adjusted life year (DALY) score for the disease. The total societal cost incurred by the disease is presented. Human mortality from endemic canine rabies was estimated to be 55 000 deaths per year (90% confidence interval (CI) = 24 000-93 000). Deaths due to rabies are responsible for 1.74 million DALYs lost each year (90% CI = 0.75-2.93). An additional 0.04 million DALYs are lost through morbidity and mortality following side-effects of nerve-tissue vaccines. The estimated annual cost of rabies is USD 583.5 million (90% CI = USD 540.1-626.3 million). Patient-borne costs for post-exposure treatment form the bulk of expenditure, accounting for nearly half the total costs of rabies. Rabies remains an important yet neglected disease in Africa and Asia. Disparities in the affordability and accessibility of post-exposure treatment and risks of exposure to rabid dogs result in a skewed distribution of the disease burden across society, with the major impact falling on those living in poor rural communities, in particular children.
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              Estimation of the global burden of disease attributable to contaminated sharps injuries among health-care workers.

              The global burden of hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection due to percutaneous injuries among health care workers (HCWs) is estimated. The incidence of infections attributable to percutaneous injuries in 14 geographical regions on the basis of the probability of injury, the prevalence of infection, the susceptibility of the worker, and the percutaneous transmission potential are modeled. The model also provides the attributable fractions of infection in HCWs. Overall, 16,000 HCV, 66,000 HBV, and 1,000 HIV infections may have occurred in the year 2000 worldwide among HCWs due to their occupational exposure to percutaneous injuries. The fraction of infections with HCV, HBV, and HIV in HCWs attributable to occupational exposure to percutaneous injuries fraction reaches 39%, 37%, and 4.4% respectively. Occupational exposures to percutaneous injuries are substantial source of infections with bloodborne pathogens among health-care workers (HCWs). These infections are highly preventable and should be eliminated. 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                Role: Academic Editor
                Journal
                PLoS Negl Trop Dis
                plos
                plosntds
                PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                1935-2727
                1935-2735
                December 2007
                26 December 2007
                : 1
                : 3
                Affiliations
                [1 ]World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland
                Swiss Tropical Institute, Switzerland
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: CS TK. Analyzed the data: SH CS TK. Wrote the paper: DE SH CS TK LW JS AP. Other: Performed the review CS.

                Article
                07-PNTD-RV-0165R2
                10.1371/journal.pntd.0000161
                2154395
                18160984
                Stein et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 8
                Categories
                Review

                Infectious disease & Microbiology

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