The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.
Versha Mishra, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur
The investment in health sector is extremely important for the holistic progress of the world. With a lot of countries agreeing to product patent agreement, new avenues are created for the global pharmaceutical giants to invest in those respective countries’ health sectors.
If the global media were your only source of information, you could be forgiven for thinking that the world’s biggest health concern right now is the Zika virus, or that last year it was Ebola – or SARS and the Avian Flu before that.
When it comes to public health, the countries where the world’s poorest billion people live spend, on average, a measly $15 annually per person. Each year, premature death – fatalities before the age of 70 – will claim around nine million lives in low-income countries like Cambodia, Ethiopia, and Haiti. Another 19 million people will die early in lower middle-income countries like India, Nigeria, and Guatemala. In total, these poorest countries account for about half of the world’s population.
By 2030, increasing prosperity will reduce the total number of annual premature deaths from 28 million to 24 million, despite the addition of nearly a billion people. But we could do better if we could improve health-care delivery.
Improving health systems’ responsiveness to these big killers would likely lead to advances that could help in other areas. When Ebola erupted in West Africa last year, the countries suffering most had very poor general health provision. With a better local health service, the disease could have been stopped faster –and possibly never would have taken hold in the first place.
Above all, we should ensure that health policy decisions are based on sound evidence, so that we truly do the most with every dollar spent. In practice, this would not mean ignoring the latest virus in the news; but it would almost certainly mean recognizing that most of our resources should go elsewhere.