Even in the poorest countries in the world, huge progress has been made in improving health. Child mortality is down more than 58 per cent since 1990, in large part the result of a massive increase in vaccination rates. The global death toll from the three biggest infectious disease epidemics — HIV, tuberculosis and malaria — has been almost halved since its peak in 2005.
Yet there remains a yawning gap between the aspiration of the third Sustainable Development Goal (SDG3) to deliver health and wellbeing for all, and the reality, particularly in Africa. Innovation, better implementation and renewed political commitment can close part of that gap. But we also need more money.
There‘s no question that investing more makes sense. Whether measured in lives, human capital or economic productivity, the returns on increased investment in health are astonishingly high.