Global mortality estimates from 2016 show that 48% of deaths around the world are caused by non-communicable diseases that are often preventable and easily treated with education and appropriate lifestyle changes.(1) Unfortunately, resources are sparse in many communities around the globe. This may mean that the members of these communities lack financial resources, food, transportation, or access to healthcare. For those communities that lack consistent access to a doctor or clinic, community health workers play a significant role in the treatment and prevention of diseases that could otherwise lead to early death.
For those communities that lack consistent access to a doctor or clinic, community health workers play a significant role in the treatment and prevention of diseases that could otherwise lead to early death.
International HELP works to reduce the rates of preventable death around the globe by empowering community health workers to bridge gaps in care in these resource sparse communities. Community health workers are not doctors, but trained and trusted members of their community that can provide education and practical solutions to common health problems. Diabetes and hypertension, or high blood pressure, are two common non-communicable diseases that can be prevented and treated, in part, with basic diet and lifestyle interventions.
International HELP works to reduce the rates of preventable death around the globe by empowering community health workers to bridge gaps in care in these resource sparse communities.
Diabetes is a condition in which high levels of glucose, or blood sugar, result from the lack of insulin or the cells’ resistance to insulin. Left untreated, it can lead to other health consequences such as nerve damage, vision loss, kidney disease, and ultimately, death.(2) Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a condition where the force of blood against the artery walls is abnormally high. Over time, this can lead to serious complications such as organ damage, heart attack, and stroke.(3) Both of these conditions require medical attention however, some of the major treatment and prevention strategies can be taught and facilitated by a community health worker.
By empowering local healthcare leaders to become community health workers, communities around the globe can see significant reductions in the rates and impacts of diabetes and hypertension.
– Ashleigh Brewer, MPH Intern
Global Health Estimates 2016: Deaths by Cause, Age, Sex, by Country and by Region, 2000-2016. Geneva, World Health Organization; 2018.
Diabetes Overview. Symptoms, Causes, Treatment. https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes. Accessed October 5, 2019.
High blood pressure (hypertension). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-pressure/symptoms-causes/syc-20373410. Published May 12, 2018. Accessed October 5, 2019.
Great article, Ashleigh! Thank you for all that you are doing to educate and empower others that may never hear this message if it were not for the work International HELP Is doing.