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Investing In Health Systems, Infrastructure Vital To Sustainability Of Global Health Gains

The Telegraph: Why the developing world needs infrastructure as much as aid
Thomas J. Bollyky, director of the Global Health Program at the Council on Foreign Relations

“Miracles have happened in global health over the last fifteen years. … But the sustainability of this era of miracles in global health is uncertain. … In too many countries, too little is being done to ensure that the children and infants surviving to adulthood find adequate health systems and employment opportunities to accommodate their needs as adults. … With limited access to health care and many people still too poor to purchase it out of pocket, cases of cancers, diabetes, and heart diseases are surging in many lower-income countries. Foreign aid to address these noncommunicable diseases has been lacking. … We live in an era of great and welcome progress in the global fight against infectious disease. That fight must continue, and we should continue to invest in it. But we must also recognize that progress against plagues and parasites cannot be measured just against the countless lives that were once lost … to those infectious diseases. The real miracles in global health happen when lives are saved in an environment where those individuals can seize precious opportunities and prosperity that have come with health improvements in the past” (10/15).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.