Facilitating Low-Cost Innovations In, Increased Usage Of Health Care

The argument that “a country’s quickest way to better health for its people is economic development … is only one factor, and not the most important one, in explaining global health outcomes,” Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, writes in a SciDev.Net opinion piece. “The challenge is to ensure that a cheap basic package of health interventions is available to — and is used by — all,” he continues.

Increasing demand for better health care “is perhaps most underappreciated by the development community,” Kenny writes, noting that data “sugges[t] that development agencies and policymakers should be spending more time exploring ways to improve uptake of health practices and innovations.” He concludes, “Better health need not wait on economic development. And neither does it require an extensive network of hospitals staffed with doctors. What it does require is widespread access to basic health tools and services, not least vaccination programs, skilled birth attendants, and clinics stocked with anti-malarials and basic antibiotics. Developing new, cheap interventions, and boosting demand for them, is a vital part of reducing mortality across the world” (1/17).