Slum Health: Diseases of Neglected Populations

A special issue of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease (ISSN 2414-6366). This special issue belongs to the section "Neglected and Emerging Tropical Diseases".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2018) | Viewed by 19101

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA
Interests: pathogenesis of mycobacterial and enteric pathogens; molecular epidemiology of tuberculosis and drug-resistant gram-negative bacterial infections; field epidemiology and international health, focused on slum health

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Guest Editor
School of Public Health & Department of City & Regional Planning, Director, Center for Global Healthy Cities, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, USA
Interests: urban health; healthy cities; community science; citizen science; health equity; climate change; violence; gun violence; environmental health; science policy; informal settlements; slums
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The most notable and glaringly apparent feature of the two recent explosive epidemics of infectious diseases—Ebola and Zika—was the virtual absence of any scientific discussion about the populations that were disproportionately affected by these diseases—residents of urban slums. Today, more than one billion people in the world live in urban slums defined by the United Nations Expert Group as human settlements with (1) inadequate access to safe water, (2) inadequate access to sanitation and other infrastructure, (3) poor structural quality of housing, (4) overcrowding, and (5) insecure residential status. The Millenium Development Goal 7D called for efforts to achieve "a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers", by 2020. By 2020, the number of just new slum dwellers will exceed 100 million. While the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 recognized the existence of populations residing in urban slums, the health of these populations was considered only in the context of larger urban health concerns. Slum-specific health research is under-represented and usually buried within the framework of larger urban health research. As such, interventions proposed to alleviate health problems of slum residents are often non-specific, not evidence based, and ineffective. Not only are slum dwellers and slum communities neglected economically, politically, socially, and by the mass media, but also are rarely subjects of health research.

This Special Issue on Slum Health is dedicated to the discussion of approaches that provide better understanding of infectious and non-communicable disease problems that disproportionately burden slum residents of large urban centers of the world. It will highlight research questions that specifically deal with diseases overly represented in slums, distinct from non-slum urban communities. Community-based clinical, epidemiologic, environmental, social, and laboratory-based studies conducted by professional health researchers in partnership with slum community residents will be emphasized. The goal of this Special Issue is to bring attention to the research community of the world the need to recognize the existence of this large proportion of human population that thus far has remained in the shadows, not only of urban development, but also of scientific investigations.

Prof. Lee Riley
Prof. Jason Corburn
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Slums
  • Slum health
  • Favelas
  • Slum dwellers
  • Informal settlements
  • Urbanization
  • Neglected populations

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
Differences in the Prevalence of Non-Communicable Disease between Slum Dwellers and the General Population in a Large Urban Area in Brazil
by Robert E. Snyder, Jayant V. Rajan, Federico Costa, Helena C. A. V. Lima, Juan I. Calcagno, Ricardo D. Couto, Lee W. Riley, Mitermayer G. Reis, Albert I. Ko and Guilherme S. Ribeiro
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(3), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2030047 - 16 Sep 2017
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 6319
Abstract
Residents of urban slums are at greater risk for disease than their non-slum dwelling urban counterparts. We sought to contrast the prevalences of selected non-communicable diseases (NCDs) between Brazilian adults living in a slum and the general population of the same city, by [...] Read more.
Residents of urban slums are at greater risk for disease than their non-slum dwelling urban counterparts. We sought to contrast the prevalences of selected non-communicable diseases (NCDs) between Brazilian adults living in a slum and the general population of the same city, by comparing the age and sex-standardized prevalences of selected NCDs from a 2010 survey in Pau da Lima, Salvador Brazil, with a 2010 national population-based telephone survey. NCD prevalences in both populations were similar for hypertension (23.6% (95% CI 20.9–26.4) and 22.9% (21.2–24.6), respectively) and for dyslipidemia (22.7% (19.8–25.5) and 21.5% (19.7–23.4)). Slum residents had higher prevalences of diabetes mellitus (10.1% (7.9–12.3)) and of overweight/obesity (46.5% (43.1–49.9)), compared to 5.2% (4.2–6.1) and 40.6% (38.5–42.8) of the general population in Salvador. Fourteen percent (14.5% (12.1–17.0)) of slum residents smoked cigarettes compared to 8.3% (7.1–9.5) of the general population in Salvador. The national telephone survey underestimated the prevalence of diabetes mellitus, overweight/obesity, and smoking in the slum population, likely in part due to differential sampling inside and outside of slums. Further research and targeted policies are needed to mitigate these inequalities, which could have significant economic and social impacts on slum residents and their communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Slum Health: Diseases of Neglected Populations)
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2544 KiB  
Article
Using Spatial Video to Analyze and Map the Water-Fetching Path in Challenging Environments: A Case Study of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
by Sarah L. Smiley, Andrew Curtis and Joseph P. Kiwango
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2017, 2(2), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed2020008 - 11 Apr 2017
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 6981
Abstract
Access to clean drinking water remains a significant health problem in the developing world. Traditional definitions of water access oversimplify the geographic context of water availability, the burden of water collection, and challenges faced along the path, mainly due to a lack of [...] Read more.
Access to clean drinking water remains a significant health problem in the developing world. Traditional definitions of water access oversimplify the geographic context of water availability, the burden of water collection, and challenges faced along the path, mainly due to a lack of fine scale spatial data. This paper demonstrates how spatial video collected in three informal areas of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, can be used to quantify aspects of the walk to water. These include impediments encountered along the path such as changes in elevation and proximity to traffic. All are mapped along with classic health-related environmental and social information, such as standing water, drains, and trash. The issue of GPS error was encountered due to the built environment that is typical of informal settlements. The spatial video allowed for the correction of the path to gain a more accurate estimate of time and distance for each walk. The resulting mapped health risks at this fine scale of detail reveal micro-geographies of concern. Spatial video is a useful tool for visualizing and analyzing the challenges of water collection. It also allows for data generated along the walk to become part of both a household and local area risk assessment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Slum Health: Diseases of Neglected Populations)
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Review

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12 pages, 587 KiB  
Review
Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases in Urban Areas: A Review of Challenges, Strategies and Research Directions for Successful Mass Drug Administration
by Alayne M. Adams, Myriam Vuckovic, Eleanor Birch, Tara A. Brant, Stephanie Bialek, Dahye Yoon, Joseph Koroma, Abdel Direny, Joseph Shott, Jean Frantz Lemoine, Massitan Dembele and Margaret C. Baker
Trop. Med. Infect. Dis. 2018, 3(4), 122; https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed3040122 - 21 Nov 2018
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 5086
Abstract
Since 1950, the global urban population grew from 746 million to almost 4 billion and is expected to reach 6.4 billion by mid-century. Almost 90% of this increase will take place in Asia and Africa and disproportionately in urban slums. In this context, [...] Read more.
Since 1950, the global urban population grew from 746 million to almost 4 billion and is expected to reach 6.4 billion by mid-century. Almost 90% of this increase will take place in Asia and Africa and disproportionately in urban slums. In this context, concerns about the amplification of several neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are warranted and efforts towards achieving effective mass drug administration (MDA) coverage become even more important. This narrative review considers the published literature on MDA implementation for specific NTDs and in-country experiences under the ENVISION and END in Africa projects to surface features of urban settings that challenge delivery strategies known to work in rural areas. Discussed under the thematics of governance, population heterogeneity, mobility and community trust in MDA, these features include weak public health infrastructure and programs, challenges related to engaging diverse and dynamic populations and the limited accessibility of certain urban settings such as slums. Although the core components of MDA programs for NTDs in urban settings are similar to those in rural areas, their delivery may need adjustment. Effective coverage of MDA in diverse urban populations can be supported by tailored approaches informed by mapping studies, research that identifies context-specific methods to increase MDA coverage and rigorous monitoring and evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Slum Health: Diseases of Neglected Populations)
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