What these maps imply about tobacco control in the developing world

I ran across a fascinating resource (Worldmapper.org) which maps various health outcomes onto regions of the world and thus produces a global picture which when compared against the typical map indicates imbalances or concentrations depending on your outlook.

This first map is one of prostate cancer deaths; that is, a cancer unrelated to smoking history. What you notice is that Africa roughly approximates its shape on a typical map.

Now take a look at lung cancer deaths ( see map below).

What you see in an Africa attenuated to the point of almost disappearing. Not of course if you look at something like malaria (again see map below).

This of course is quite a simplistic observation to make with just a few specifically chosen maps but I think the point is valid. When the FCTC targets regions like Africa and asks (demands) that health resources be used for tobacco control operations, the money that would make a difference if applied toward malaria (or countless other endemic diseases …see more maps on the site), that would save many lives, is funnelled off into satisfying political aims with little effect on mortality.

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  • jredheadgirl  On May 3, 2011 at 11:38 am

    “..I think the point is valid.”

    Yep. What an understatement. ….Kind of makes you wonder what the true objective of the WHO is.

    • cigarbabe  On May 9, 2011 at 8:21 pm

      It is unconscionable for WHO to be talking about Protecting people from tobacco when tens of thousands are dying from Malaria every year in these African countries.
      It’s just absurd and shameful!

  • Michael J. McFadden  On May 3, 2011 at 1:27 pm

    Pretty sad and amazing Paul. Maybe someday there will be the equivalent of “war crimes trials” (peace crimes trials?) aimed at the people who’ve caused tens of millions of deaths by misappropriating needed funding for health over to funding for their pet political causes.

    – MJM

  • Michael J. McFadden  On May 3, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Heh, it’s also interesting that you could speculate that a good preventative for prostate cancer would be to eat a lot of Chinese food while avoiding curry!


    • Paul  On May 3, 2011 at 2:37 pm

      Maybe its the MSG

  • Michael J. McFadden  On May 3, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    I somehow got involved on a board with an extended discussion about how some folks hate dating vegans. I said the only time dietary preferences impact my relationships is if I’m starting to date a girl with dark circles under her eyes who usually just speaks in grunts except when she screams, “Brains! I WANNNNNNT BRRRRRAIINNNNNNNNNNSSSS!!!!”

    Plus I’ve noticed those gals usually smell sorta raunchy anyways.

    – MJM


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