Send to

Choose Destination
Trans R Soc Trop Med Hyg. 2009 May;103(5):461-8. doi: 10.1016/j.trstmh.2008.11.027. Epub 2009 Jan 20.

Poverty, inequality and health: the challenge of the double burden of disease in a non-profit hospital in rural Ethiopia.

Author information

Project Italian Contribution to the Health Sector Development Programme, Italian Cooperation, P.O. Box 13018, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


This study was aimed at describing disease patterns in a rural zone of Oromiya region, Ethiopia through a retrospective analysis of discharge records for 22,377 inpatients of St. Luke Hospital, Wolisso, Ethiopia in the period 2005-2007. The leading cause of admission was childbirth, followed by injuries, malaria and pneumonia. Injuries were the leading cause of in-hospital deaths, followed by pneumonia, malaria, cardiovascular disease and AIDS. Vulnerable groups (infants, children and women) accounted for 73.3% of admissions. Most of the disease burden resulted from infectious diseases, the occurrence of which could be dramatically reduced by cost-effective preventive and curative interventions. Furthermore, a double burden of disease is already emerging at the early stage of the epidemiological transition, with a mix of persistent, emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and increasing prevalence of chronic conditions and injuries. This will lead to fundamental changes in the volume and composition of demand for healthcare, with a more complex case mix and more costly service utilization patterns. The challenge is to address the double burden of disease, while focusing on poverty-related conditions and targeting vulnerable groups. Monitoring disease and service utilization patterns through routine hospital information systems can provide sustainable, low-cost support for evidence-based health practice.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems
Loading ...
Support Center