In 1960’s Maurice King developed the concept of “medicine of poverty” through his book “Medical Care in Developing Countries” (Oxford 1966)

The concept “Medicine of Poverty” symbolizes the fact of many problems in the developing countries as compared with luxury medicine that is found in the rich industrial countries.


The concept “Medicine of Poverty” is well known. This concept has been even replaced by other concepts, for example “medicine of the developing countries”; “medicine under limited resources”; “medicine within social inequalities”.

All expressions shows the social dimension of medicine and the influence of the facts about health and diseases.

Causes of poverty can be, for example:
-Political instabilities
-Civil wars
-Flight/Fleeing, Expulsion
-Migrant workers in South Africa and Unemployment
-Lack of education, Ignorance
-Urbanization, Leaving rural areas (Increase of urban population, for example, Nairobi has 3 Millions of
inhabitants, of whom 1 Million lives in slums)
-Fall of prices for raw materials
-Violation of human rights.


Chefarzt Dr. Mbaruku

im OP des Regional-Hospitals Kigoma

A medicine of Poverty

1.)Happens under the conditions of poverty
In Germany about 2500 Euros are allocated for every person per year for health budget whereby in the country like Tanzania they are 2.50 Euros per person yearly.

2.) It has something to do with diseases of poverty.



müssen mehrmals verwendet werden

Example of the diseases of poverty can be

The spiral of poverty
It is clear that due to the spiral of poverty, health and diseases are dependent upon social parameters, dependent upon life and working conditions, upon nutrition, outside conditions of life such as water for drinking, sanitation, hygiene, Access to health services.(a picture will be shown)

Statistics show that yearly 3 million children die due to diseases that are curable.

According to UNICEF die
8000 children due to measles, whooping coughing, Tetanus,
7000 die due to diarrhoea,
6000 due to lung inflammations.

2,1 Millions of children die due to lung inflammations,
2 Million children die due to diarrhoea diseases,Million children die dueTo measles.

Diseases, that were thought to have been wiped out, they are still happening as poverty and miserable diseases such as pests, cholera, tuberculosis, etc.

In India about 10,000 people die of tuberculosis every week.

Further >>Primary Health Care (PHC)