Public health approaches to infectious disease
Public health approaches to infectious disease

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Public health approaches to infectious disease

6.2 Other challenges to achieving the MDGs for public health

Despite the undoubted progress of recent decades, the prospects for meeting the MDG targets in relation to infectious disease and public health are constrained by many factors in addition to poverty. They include:

  • the biological adaptability of many of the most important pathogens infecting humans, which enables the rapid evolution of resistance to chemical controls
  • the lack of finance in heavily indebted countries for installing sanitation and piped water, or providing vaccination programmes, soap, mosquito nets and other preventive strategies
  • the shortage of essential skills, scientific and technological knowledge, trained personnel and equipment
  • difficult circumstances of geology and climate and the risks posed by major natural disasters – drought, flooding, earthquakes, etc.
  • the level of illiteracy and gender inequality in a population, which can limit the effectiveness of health education initiatives
  • the extent to which political will, social stability and community action can be harnessed for the public good; individuals and communities may be highly resistant to behavioural change; cultural practices and attitudes may oppose interventions such as vaccination.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371