Poverty and health

Need a cure for global poverty and inequality? Start by improving health. Humanosphere’s Tom Paulson discusses the surprisingly underused and undervalued suggestion of improving health as part of the anti-poverty agenda in his article “The cure for global poverty: Health.” Drawing on the findings of a December 2013 report entitled Global Health 2035, Paulson explores the link between illness and poverty, while citing some interesting statistics. Health improvements have the ability to boost economic productivity with the potential of overall GDP increase.

Global Health 2035 states, “Reductions in mortality account for about 11 percent of recent economic growth in low-income and middle-income countries.” In addition to that, the report utilizes the “full-income” measure in which the intrinsic value of life is factored in using “VLYs” – Value for additional Life Years. With this in mind the report states, “Between 2000 and 2011, about 24 percent of the growth in full income in low-income and middle-income countries resulted from VLYs gained.” Despite its sound evidence and backing from big philanthropic names like Bill Gates, Global Health 2035 has not been widely received in the global anti-poverty and health circles.

This growing emphasis placed on health as means to fight poverty and inequity is mirrored in Hope Through Health’s belief that “Good health is the first step on the road out of poverty.” In Togo, where 53% of the population lives on less than $2/day, quality healthcare is hard to come by. HTH is proud to provide quality healthcare services to patients and get them healthy enough to live fulfilling lives. Take Rose for example, one of HTH’s patients who was highlighted in our 2013 Annual Report. Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 12.06.52 PM Rose was one of the first patients in Northern Togo to begin taking lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART). Rose has HIV and she had lost her young daughter and her husband to the disease. After starting on ART, Rose began to work at HTH/AED-Lidaw as a Community Health Worker. Ten years later, Rose is one of our longest serving Community Health Workers. Her dedication to health as a human right, particularly for those living with HIV, remains an inspiration to us all. Original article: “The cure for global poverty: Health” By Tom Paulson