Edited by Masahiro Hashizume and Nguyen Tien Huy.
This special issue of Tropical Medicine and Health aims to draw attention towards tropical health problems. Two third of world’s population live in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Many of those people live in absolute poverty, surrounded by dozens of diseases. Some of which are properly tackled, while others are neglected. Tropical health encompasses a diverse group of issues related to infectious diseases (viral, bacterial, parasitic and fungal infections), non-communicable diseases and malnutrition with its consequences. The magnitude of these problems is anticipated to increase with expansion to more and more countries, which could be attributed to growing number of populations with decreased resources, globalization, climatic changes, wars, collapse of control programs in some countries and the emergence of drug resistance.
Tropical health problems constitute a huge burden on developing countries, hindering the socioeconomic development, decreasing quality of life, impairing physical and cognitive development, causing adverse pregnancy outcomes, and limit adult productivity in the workforce. The burden is more aggravated in poorly resourced communities; hence the World Health Organization is committed to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases, and other communicable diseases by 2030 in its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). A supporting role of the involved countries could be displayed through encouraging research on community-based health issues. However, because of the limited financial resources for surveillance of these diseases, this initiative was proposed to motivate the entangled developing countries to share in research, gather information and provide the necessary data to state the needs and combat these diseases which seems to be an achievable dream. Systematic reviews alone or coupled with meta-analysis are invited as they provide a low cost, alternative way to summarize and evaluate the findings of all relevant individual studies to improve the health of people in this region. In this regard, following topics will be covered by this special issue.
- Systematic reviews and meta-analysis in tropical medicine and health
- New approaches of systematic reviews and meta-analytic methodology in tropical medicine and health
- Challenges and perspectives for systematic reviews and meta-analysis in tropical medicine and health