Saturday, March 16

Low-income nations cannot solve their health problems without assistance. The World Health Organization’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health estimates that annually between $30 and 40 per person is needed to cover “essential interventions” to minimize the impact of the greatest health threats to the world’s poorest nations. These include HIV/AIDS, malaria, TB, childhood infectious diseases (many of which are preventable by vaccination), maternal and perinatal conditions, tobacco-related illnesses, and micronutrient deficiencies. Read the executive summary of the report—it’s less than 20 pages (PDF).

Currently, about $6 billion per year of donor financing is provided to the WHO from all nations. It is estimated that this needs to increase to $27 billion per year by 2007. To put things into perspective, please note that world citizens purchased $20 billion of Coca Cola products last year, $25 billion worth of Disney goods and services, and nearly $1 billion worth of Beanie Babies. (Link to full report here.)

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