Global Health Facts : Every 30 seconds an African child dies of malaria-more than one million child deaths a year.

The Issue of Global Health


"The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political, economic or social condition."

These words, from the Constitution of the World Health Organization, were written more than half a century ago; yet today, a greater number and a greater percentage of the world’s population live in communities where poverty, disease and premature death are the norm.

What responsibility do we have to reach out to those who suffer from poverty, malnutrition and disease?

Given increased global interconnectivity, can we ignore this global health crisis without risking new threats from infectious diseases?

As we reflect on the questions and the challenges presented to us by the global health crisis during the Forum, we offer the opportunity to investigate the extent of the problem in this section of description and facts and figures, as well as through resources and background reading materials comprising websites, articles, and books on the subject (some written by or about the Forum panelists) found in the Resources section of this website.

Poverty, Malnutrition and Disease

Worldwide, 2.7 billion people earn less than $2 per day, and 1.1 billion of these earn less than $1 per day (extreme poverty). In Sub-Saharan Africa, the percentage of people living in extreme poverty increased from 41% in 1981 to 46% in 2001.

1.6 million people die every year from diarrheal diseases (including cholera) attributable to lack of access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation, and 90% of these are children under 5, mostly in developing countries. More than 40% of Africans are unable to obtain sufficient food on a day-to-day basis. Declining soil fertility, land degradation, increased population, and the AIDS pandemic have led to a 23 percent decrease in food production per capita over the past 25 years.

Despite incredible scientific achievements, preventable or treatable diseases continue to devastate large segments of the human community – including 10 million children who die each year, many of them from diarrhea, HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, respiratory tract infection or pneumonia. That’s over 27,000 a day, or over 1,100 every hour.

With Compassion for those who are suffering: Notre Dame is responding through targeted research efforts and direct service by students, faculty and alumni.

> Read More About Notre Dame's Current Efforts

The Role of the Jordan Hall of Science

Jordan Hall of Science

A cutting-edge facility to forge 21st century solutions to the global health crisis. This year’s Forum coincides with the opening of our new Jordan Hall of Science... > Read More

News & Events


World AIDS Week

In commemoration of World AIDS Day on December 1st, the World AIDS Day task force sponosred by the CSC will be hosting a week of events that focus on increasing awareness for HIV/AIDS among Notre Dame students and faculty.