The total number of deaths per 1000 people of a given age per year.
Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. Better referred to as the conditions brought about by the deterioration in the body’s immune system caused by HIV – known as AIDS-Related Conditions (ARC)
Antiretroviral (ARV drugs)
Drugs designed to protect the immune system from the damaging effects of the HIV virus
The number of cases of a disease diagnosed in an area, divided by the total population, over the period of an epidemic.
The overall dietary pattern of foods consumed that provide all the essential nutrients in the appropriate amounts, to support life processes such as growth in children, without promoting excess weight.
A disease created or spread by human behaviour, e.g. conditions caused by smoking.
Body Mass Index (BMI)
A simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used in classifying overweight and obesity on adults and individuals. It is defined as the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in metres
The name given to a range of illnesses that result from one of the cells in the body growing out of control.
Case mortality rate
The number dying from a disease divided by the number of those diagnosed with the disease.
A disease that is long-lasting or recurrent and normally incurable. Examples include: cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.
A communicable disease spread by close contact.
Crude birth rate
The number of live births per 1000 of the population per year.
Crude death rate
The number deaths per 1000 of the population per year.
Measures the basic statistics of any population, such as birth or death rates per 1000 people.
Disability adjusted life years (DALYs)
An indication of the number of healthy years of life lost. It indicates the total burden of a disease, as opposed to the number of deaths.
Any factor, whether event, characteristic or other definable entity, that beings about a change in a health condition or other defined characteristic.
A bodily disorder preventing good health.
Development of disease
The way in which a disease actually develops, e.g. the development of the malarial parasite in a mosquito or human host.
An infectious disease that is always present in an area.
When a disease spreads quickly to affect large numbers of people in one area.
The study of the spread of disease in medicine.
A time when there is so little food available that many people starve. It is to do with access to food, rather than availability.
The close economic interdependence between the leading nations of the world in trade, investment and cooperative commercial relationships.
A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (WHO 1946) – the overall condition of an individual at a given time.
The prevention, treatment and management of illness and the preservation of mental health through the services offered by medical, nursing and allied health professionals.
Health care system
A system created by governments to provide health care across the population.
An amount paid to pay for health treatment. This is usually probate, unlike public contributions which are funded through taxation.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
A virus that attacks the immune system of people who are infected. Infection is caused when bodily fluids from an infected person are passed into the body of another. This virus can cause AIDS.
How many people develop a condition within a period of time e.g. one year.
Infant mortality rate
The number of deaths of children under the age of 1 year expressed per 1000 live births per year.
Caused by germs, likely to be transmitted through the environment
The lack of proper nutrition resulting from a poorly balanced diet.
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
8 goals agreed by the UN in September 2000 for all people to work towards achieving by 2015. The MDGs recognised the most important needs for developing countries.
The state of being ill or diseased, or the occurrence of a disease or condition that damages health and quality of life.
The death of people. It is measured by a number of indices including death rate, infant mortality, case mortality and attack rate.
The gap in death rates between wealthier and poorer income groups or social classes.
The number of deaths (in general, or from a specific cause) in a population.
A disease that cannot be passed from one person to another. Examples of non-communicable diseases include: cardiovascular diseases, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes.
Any disease that is required by law to be reported to the government. E.g. Ebola
Abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. It is a condition caused by over-consumption of calories. WHO defines obesity as a BMI equal to or more than 30
Illnesses that strike people whose immune systems have been damaged by HIV.
An epidemic limited to localised increase in the incidence of disease, such as in a town or institution.
Abnormal or excessive fat accumulation that may impair health. It is a condition caused by over-consumption of calories. WHO defines overweight as a BMI of more than 25.
A drug or other treatment designed to reduce symptoms and/or ease pain without dealing with the condition that cause the problem.
An epidemic that spreads over a very large area such as a continent or the world.
Medicines that have been developed by a company that has claimed rights to their production. No other company can produce them without permission and a licence bought from the patent holder. This means that the company can charge high enough process to earn back the costs of developing the drug.
Short term lack of food as a result of crop failure. Opposite of chronic (long-term) famine.
Linked to drugs and their development.
An indication of the number of people in a population suffering from a condition at any one time.
Primary Care Trusts
UK Administrative areas which provide hospital and doctors’ surgeries. Planned to be abolished by 2013 when GPs will be out in control of much of the NHS budget and they will take over planning and buying local services from PCTs.
The aspect of medical activity directed towards improving the health of the whole community. It addresses the health of the population as a whole rather than medical care, which focuses on treatment of the individual ailment.
An agricultural product, recognised as an addicted drug which is processed from the fresh leaves of a plant, native to tropical America.
Transnational corporation (TNC)
A company that operates in at least two countries. It is common for TNCs to have a hierarchical structure, with the headquarters and R&D department in the country of origin, and manufacturing plants overseas.
The condition that results from consuming too little food over a period of time.
Lacking adequate minerals and vitamins.
An injection designed to prevent an infection.
World Health Organisation – a specialised agency of the United Nations that acts as a coordinating authority on international public health.