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J Infect Dev Ctries. 2009 Jul 1;3(6):408-11.

Is cholera disease associated with poverty?

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Finlay Institute, Havana, Cuba.



Cholera remains a global threat and is one of the key indicators of social development. While the disease no longer poses a menace to countries with minimum standards of hygiene, it remains a serious challenge to countries where access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation cannot be guaranteed. The objective of this work was to analyse the results obtained when contrasting the reports of the World Health Organization (WHO) about cholera disease with those of the World Bank List of economies (countries).


Data were obtained from reports of two international organizations, the report on cholera disease incidence of the World Health Organization and the World Bank's classification of countries attending to their income.


We determined that low-income countries are more affected by cholera disease than countries with middle or high income. This difference was reflected in the percent of countries, the total number of reported cases, the number of cases per 100,000 habitants, as well as in the reported mortality. These results support the phrase "cholera disease is a disease of poverty."


We consider that economic development is an important factor in the morbidity and mortality of cholera, together with environment, climate, culture, medical management, political intention, and the intrinsic factors of the system.

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