Infectious diseases and pandemics: Why are they linked to poverty?
It is no coincidence that diseases like Ebola emerge and spread in the poorest countries on earth. Infectious diseases have long thrived in conditions of poverty. Until recent times, this was the pattern across the globe. Improvements in sanitation and other reforms have greatly reduced the spread of serious infectious diseases in industrialised countries. However, even in developed countries like New Zealand, infectious diseases continue to cause a markedly higher disease burden for socioeconomically deprived populations and indigenous peoples. This presentation will describe the strong link between infectious diseases and poverty, review why this association is so pervasive, and lay down a challenge to act on this preventable disease burden.