Franck Fife/AFP/Getty Images

Die Ausrottung nichtübertragbarer Krankheiten

SEATTLE – Teilweise aufgrund koordinierter weltweiter Anstrengungen zur Bekämpfung von Infektionskrankheiten wie Malaria, Tuberkulose (TB) HIV/AIDS und Kinderlähmung konnte die Kindersterblichkeit in den letzten 25 Jahren um 50 Prozent gesenkt und die Lebenserwartung um über sechs Jahre gesteigert werden. Außerdem gelang es, den Anteil der Weltbevölkerung, der in extremer Armut lebt, um die Hälfte zu senken. Dabei handelt es sich um wichtige Errungenschaften, die allerdings neue Herausforderungen mit sich brachten, denen man sich nun dringend zuwenden muss.

Angesichts der längeren Lebenserwartung und des veränderten Lebensstils haben nichtübertragbare Krankheiten (NCD) wie Diabetes, Herz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen, Krebs und Erkrankungen der Atemwege Einzug gehalten und sind nun mit Abstand die weltweit führenden Todesursachen. Während 2014 etwa 3,2 Millionen Menschen an Malaria, TB oder HIV/AIDS starben, verloren über 38 Millionen Menschen ihr Leben aufgrund nicht übertragbarer Krankheiten. Und die Zahl der Todesopfer steigt weiter.

Man denke an Diabetes, eine der am stärksten um sich greifenden nichtübertragbaren Krankheit. Laut Angaben eines jüngst veröffentlichten Berichts der Weltgesundheitsorganisation starben 2012 mit jeweils 1,5 Millionen Todesopfern etwa gleich viele Menschen an Diabetes wie an TB. Doch während die Todesfälle aufgrund von TB seit 1990 um die Hälfte zurückgingen, befindet sich Diabetes rasch auf dem Vormarsch. Im Jahr 1980 litten etwa 108 Millionen Menschen an Diabetes, also etwa 5 Prozent der Weltbevölkerung; mittlerweile sind über 400 Millionen Menschen oder 8,3 Prozent von der Krankheit betroffen.

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