Thursday, March 6, 2008

Health and development

Dear Colleagues

The Tr-Ac-Net perspective is that health is an important component of development ... but the performance of the international relief and development sector over the past several decades has been poor ... and the pre-occupation with health is one of the reasons for the poor socio-economic results.

Health is a VERY important part of development ... but human health without economic health in the society is not an adequate outcome.

One of the most widely used one liners about health is "Malaria kills 3,000 children every day in Africa". Less widely used is the statistic that 30,000 children die every day in Africa from a variety of causes, most of which are preventable ... and poverty, hunger, polluted water are some of the preventable causes.

As work is done to improve the health situation for the world's population, it is imperative that the causes of ill health are included in the analysis so that decisions are made that will result in sustainable progress. The crisis of malaria is, in part, caused by malaria control strategies that have failed to address the problem of perpetual reinfection.

There are many questions, and the medical profession knows most of the answers:

  • How does health impact poverty? How does poverty impact health?
  • What role does polluted water have in causing disease? What role poor sanitation?
  • Is hunger a cause of ill-health? Is ill-health a cause of hunger?
  • What role shortages of medical staff?
  • What role shortage of medicines and medical supplies
  • Is the health sector funding too much ... or too little ... or wrongly applied?

The challenge is to get these questions answered and for actions to take place to correct the situation. This is only partly a health sector question ... in large part it is health in conjuction with many other parts of the economy and of society.

The potential for success is available ... but the system needs to be improved in order to realise success with the available resources.


Peter Burgess
The Tr-Ac-Net Organization

Note: This was originally posted in December 2007 and is now relocated because of a spelling error in the blog name.

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