Humanity has made huge achievements in health, but has a long way to go. That’s the message in an article by Harvard School of Public Health’s David Bloom in the December 2014 issue of Finance & Development (F&D)—the quarterly magazine of the International Monetary Fund—which focuses on the serious health issues facing the world today.
In the article, Bloom, Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography, took a big-picture look at a range of global health issues. He pointed to significant gains in life expectancy, but also noted that child mortality remains stubbornly high—as of 2013, 6.5 million children died before age 5. He cited the ongoing problem of infectious diseases in developing countries and, in developing countries, of noncommunicable diseases—which are expected to continue rising everywhere due to aging populations and lifestyle choices. He wrote of glaring health disparities around the world. And he made the connection between good health and healthy economies, and how healthy populations mean more stable societies.
“Future perils notwithstanding, technological and institutional innovations hold much promise for making the world healthier, wealthier, and more equitable and secure,” Bloom wrote. “Health spending is more than a burdensome consumption expenditure, it is an investment in productivity, income growth, and poverty reduction.”
Read David Bloom’s F&D article: The Shape of Global Health
Read a summary of articles by Bloom and others in the December 2014 F&D: Global Health Problems Span a Wide Spectrum