Copyright © 1998 International Development Options
All Rights Reserved
Volume One Winter 1997-Spring 1998 Numbers 1-2.
GENDER, MORTALITY, AIDS AND DEVELOPMENT: A COMPARISON BETWEEN THE COMMONWEALTH
CARIBBEAN AND OTHER REGIONS
University of Warwick
Coventry, England CV4 7AL
Published online: December 15, 2016
This article highlights certain alarming features of mortality patterns in the Commonwealth Caribbean and explores their implications for development in the region. It is shown that mortality from certain diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, cervical cancer, and the prevalence of AIDS are significantly higher than would be expected, according to the epidemiological transition model which links health patterns to "development". Furthermore, women are at higher risk than men from these chronic, non-communicable diseases, and the proportion of females among the total of people with AIDS is rising. This suggests that the models of development adopted in the region may be encouraging "unhealthy lifestyles" in areas such as nutrition, exercise, and sexual behavior. High death rates among productive and reproductive age groups and high costs of care for people with chronic diseases suggest that health promotion, designed to encourage healthy lifestyles, is essential to public policy in countries struggling to face the developmental challenges of the 21st century. Health promotion policies need to address the links between health and the type of developmental model being adopted. The promotion of healthy lifestyles and opportunities for women to achieve an adequate and well-balanced diet, take regular exercise, and achieve equitable sexual relationships needs to be built into the idea of "sustainable development".