Experts work to eliminate global health inequality and bring economic benefits

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Increasing investment in health to save lives and boost economic growth is the aim of Global Health 2035.

The report was launched by the African Development Bank, along with the Centre for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, the Commission on Investing in Health and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. It was published by The Lancet.

The hope is to save millions of people from contagious diseases and infant mortality over the next 20+ years.

The Global Health report is the work of 25 experts who are calling for research and development spending on health to be doubled to 4.4 billion euros annually.

Agnes Soucat – the Director of Human Development at the African Development Bank and a member of the Commission on Investing in Health – is one of the report’s authors.

She told euronews: “By 2035 we can cut the number of preventable deaths by nearly 10 million, to reach what we call global convergence. That is people in the poorest countries having the same level of health care as people in richer countries.”

Two-thirds of infant deaths from AIDS and tuberculosis now occur in middle-income countries in Africa as well as in China and India.

And in places like Tunisia – where health care accounts for six percent of GDP – 40 percent of health spending is by individuals and even then the quality of care is not good.

The Tunisian Health Minister Abdellatif Mekki said they are working to change that: “We must find ways to reduce the financial burden on Tunisian households. And so we’ve asked the government to double the Health Ministry’s budget to help those people who are spending much more than they can afford.”

Euronews correspondent Vicenç Batalla concluded: “The African Development Bank is one of the authors of the Global Health 2035 report. And, like the other contributors, it believes that expenditure on public health should be 10 or 20 times bigger which would boost economic growth. Now they have to convince the politicians.

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