Global Health Community Must Recognize Correlation Between Health, Socio-Demographic Index, Editorial Says

The Lancet: Global health: time for radical change?
Editorial Board

“…[The latest Global Burden of Diseases report] reveals, once again, that health depends on more than health systems. The strong correlation between health and the socio-demographic index — a summary metric of a country’s overall development based on average income per capita, educational attainment, and total fertility rates — suggests that the health sector should consider redefining its scope of concern. … Although attention should be given to controlling community transmission of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and protecting those most vulnerable to its consequences, success will require a more capacious strategy. COVID-19 is a syndemic of coronavirus infection combined with an epidemic of non-communicable diseases, both interacting on a social substrate of poverty and inequality. The message of GBD is that unless deeply embedded structural inequities in society are tackled and unless a more liberal approach to immigration policies is adopted, communities will not be protected from future infectious outbreaks and population health will not achieve the gains that global health advocates seek. It’s time for the global health community to change direction” (10/17).

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