The global health threat of African urban slums: The example of urban tuberculosis

Joseph R. Oppong, Jonathan Mayer, Eyal - Oren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Urban slums in developing countries are experiencing the most rapid population growth of any settlement type globally. Such growth of densely settled slums exerts a profound influence on the epidemiology and geography of communicable disease, transmitted through multiple modes. Specifically, high density, poor sanitation, poorly built housing, and lack of both adequate sewage systems and water supply facilitate pathogen spread. Long-range transmission of infection, partly through migration or travel of infected individuals, makes communicable diseases of urban areas in developing countries health problems of the entire world rather than localized areas. Non-endemic areas are threatened with disease spread. Because a significant proportion of slum growth and disease burden is in sub-Saharan Africa, global well-being demands that we understand and control disease spread in African slums as a major international health priority. This paper outlines the potential threats and implications of African urban slum health using the example of tuberculosis (TB), which is highly prevalent in developing countries. Using the case of Nima, a slum in Accra, Ghana, we argue that successful disease control efforts in developed countries depend critically on effective disease surveillance and control efforts in developing countries, including African urban slums.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)182-195
Number of pages14
JournalAfrican Geographical Review
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2015

Fingerprint

tuberculosis
slum
contagious disease
developing world
threat
disease spread
health
Disease
developing country
communicable disease
disease control
epidemiology
sanitation
population growth
sewage
pathogen
urban area
water supply
settlement pattern
Ghana

Keywords

  • global health
  • slum health tuberculosis
  • urban health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Geography, Planning and Development

Cite this

The global health threat of African urban slums : The example of urban tuberculosis. / Oppong, Joseph R.; Mayer, Jonathan; Oren, Eyal -.

In: African Geographical Review, Vol. 34, No. 2, 04.05.2015, p. 182-195.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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