Attacking the root causes of disease.

J. B. Atwood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This article presents the US Agency for International Development¿s (USAID) role in attacking the root causes of infectious diseases. Epidemics are not always caused by new organisms; known diseases can spread to new places or to people who are not immune. As more people in developing countries move from rural areas into crowded urban areas with inadequate housing, sanitation, or health systems, conditions are ripe for the development and spread of emerging diseases. USAID research in developing countries has focused on three areas: 1) reducing common childhood illnesses, 2) reducing high reproductive morbidity and mortality, and 3) reducing the transmission of HIV/AIDS. USAID increases the ability of health systems to recognize, prevent, and treat infectious diseases through improved training, budget management, pharmaceuticals, logistics, and communications; it offers assistance in the development of epidemiological skills and disease control programs and fosters immunization, health education, and risk behavior modification. To control the increase in chance of HIV/AIDS infection, women were included in the design and implementation of efforts toward increasing condom availability and improving services. USAID collaborates with other US partners through formal agreements and coordinating arrangements. USAID¿s field operations in developing countries will continue to develop local capacities for monitoring and controlling infectious diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-15
Number of pages2
JournalGlobal issues (Washington, D.C.)
Issue number17
StatePublished - Nov 1 1996


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