Lack of Health Care / Providing Health Care for All
Access to local health care for 100% of humanity
980 -1000 million people lack health care
2: Primary Health Care/Community Health Providers, Health Care
for Children, and Special Health Problems
2A: Primary Health Care/Community Health Providers
health care" is a highly effective, low cost, culturally appropriate
and rapid way of providing quality health care to the largest
number of people in any country.
Primary health care emphasizes preventive medicine, childbirth
assistance, first aid, basic drug dispensation, nutrition, clean
water, sanitation and health education. It is health care provided
by "Community Health Providers" who, with 6 to 9 months of intensive
training, supervision and regular retraining, can handle 75% of
all the illnesses, health problems and needs of an individual
and community. A community
health worker can provide first aid for injuries, immunization,
vaccination, antibiotics, oral rehydration therapy, growth monitoring,
nutrition information, iron and vitamin A supplements, advice
and help with natal care, births, breast feeding, birth spacing,
weaning, contraception, AIDS prevention, the prevention of common
illnesses, solutions for sanitation and other community health
needs -- as well as the referral of seriously ill patients to the
nearest health facility. Community Health Providers are a tried
and proven healthcare provision technique. China, Costa Rica,
Cuba and other countries have used this method to make dramatic
improvements in lowering infant, child and maternal mortality
rates, as well as raising overall life expectancy and other indicators
national health-care system of hospitals and doctors organized
around a well-trained core of community health-care workers could
provide health care superior to almost any in the world, including
that found in highly developed countries such as the United States.
Allion community health care workers -- if the recommended ratio
of one community health provider per 200 to 250 families were
followed. Lowering this recommended
ratio further, to one health-care worker per 150 families, so
that each worker can provide even better health care, would cost
about $750 million for training of new health workers and retraining
of already existing health workers.
Providing supervision, regular retraining, infrastructure support,
basic medical supplies and salaries for these 1.5 million additional
health-care workers would cost about $15 billion per year.
Such a system is not fee-based. The collection of fees for any
health services provided would reduce this cost substantially.
2B: Providing Health Care for Children
within, and covered by the costs of the above health-care strategy,
is the provision of health care for children that would eliminate
the most severe health problems facing the children of the world.
Over 200 million children experience health complications, including
temporary or permanent blindness due to Vitamin A deficiencies.
About 40 million pre-school children suffer from vitamin A deficiency.
At least 250,000 of these children go blind each year. Providing
Vitamin A to children who lack it in their diet could prevent
this tragic blindness. Providing oral rehydration therapy for
children with severe diarrhea and immunizing 1 billion children
in the developing world against measles, tuberculosis, diphtheria,
whooping cough, polio and tetanus could prevent 6-7 million children
deaths per year. $2.5 billion
dollars per year for ten years would cover the costs of global
child health care plus delivery systems and infrastructure, management,
staff training and wide-scale parental education and training.
2C: Iodine Deficiency Program
566 million people, almost 10% of the world's population, suffer
from goiter brought on by iodine deficiency. Three hundred million
people suffer lowered mental capacity and intellectual impairment
as a result of missing dietary iodine. Three million suffer from
overt cretinism. There are approximately 800 million people in
the world who are at risk from iodine deficiency. For $40 million
per year, iodine can be added to table salt or water that would
eliminate this problem.
2D: AIDS Prevention and Control Program
spread of the AIDS epidemic around the world is one of the most
alarming new developments in the past twenty years. There are
approximately 18 million AIDS-infected people in the world. Each
day, some 6000 additional people are infected. By the year 2000,
there will be an estimated 40 million people who have the AIDS
investment of $3 billion per year for the next ten years in a
massive global education campaign that deals with AIDS prevention
would dramatically reduce the number of new AIDS cases. Another
$2 billion per year would be invested in providing the recently
documented AIDS multiple drug therapy to AIDS patients in the
developing world who cannot afford this new and expensive treatment.
These monies would be spent on setting up the drug manufacturing
capacity in the developing world, particularly in India and Southeast
Asia where the largest increases in AIDS infections are occurring.
An additional $1 billion would be invested in a global AIDS research
and development effort to seek a vaccine to prevent or cure AIDS.
total cost of implementing the Primary Health Care Program, which
would provide basic health care to all those in the world who
are currently in need would cost $15 billion per year or 1.9%
of the world's total annual military expenditures (less than seven
days worth), or less than 18% of what the United States spends
on alcohol each year.
$2.5 billion per year for ten years' cost of Providing Health
Care for Children is .0032% of the world's total annual military
expenditures. The world spends this amount on the military in
28 hours. It is also the amount spent per month by the former
Soviet Union on vodka.
$40 million cost of eliminating iodine deficiency from the world
is less than 25% of what the invasion of Panama cost the United
States, or about what the
world spends in 27 minutes on the military.
$6 billion cost for the AIDS Prevention and Control Program is
about 40% of what the US spends on cosmetic surgery per year,
or about the same amount as is spent on tobacco advertising in
the US, or about .007% of the world's annual military budget.
combined costs of the Primary Health Care Program, Providing Health
Care for Children, the Iodine Deficiency Program and the AIDS
Prevention and Control Program would be $21 billion per year for
ten years. This is 2.6% of the world's annual military expenditures
or 2.1% of the world's annual illegal drug expenditures, or 16%
of what the US spends on alcohol and tobacco per year.
It is also what the US spends on running shoes in 15 months.
benefits of providing health care for everyone in the world include
enhanced quality of life, more productive working years, an economic
boost to local society as a result of this increased productivity
and a reduction in the need for medical care for diseases that
are now being prevented or controlled. The economic payback for
the $21 billion per year investment would be over $10 trillion
per year in money saved by global society.
Such an investment pays for itself in less than one day. A return
on investment like this is hard to find, to say the least.
What the World Wants Chart