Cost of health

Any idea what the cost of health is? A new World Health Organization (WHO) study says that developing countries could greatly reduce about 60 percent of all disease and premature death for about $1.20 per person annually. Sounds cheap, doesn’t it? The new analysis focuses on chronic or non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in poorer countries and concludes that low-cost, high-impact steps to reduce NCD risks could dramatically improve health and quality of life in these countries. What are we talking about? Things like discouraging smoking and alcohol consumption, improving food supply and daily meal quality, and other measures to combat well-understood health risks associated with industrialization and increasing income in the developing world.

So why isn’t this a no-brainer? One reason is the force of tradition and culture, including the related fact of life that the benefits of health efforts are still widely under-appreciated – by regular people and political leaders around the world. Another reason is that not all these countries have popular governments, and of those that do, few have made progressive health and quality of life promotion their basic mission or focus. Add to this mix the influence of monied interests who benefit from an unhealthy status quo. Finally, consider the still only fair leadership by the developed world to show how an overriding focus on health and well-being can look in principle and alter life in practice. The sum of this equation: there remains both much work to do and enormous human quality of life impacts waiting to be had on the cheap today. Learn more about the new WHO study at $1.20 Per Person and explore HumanaNatura’s proposal for health-centered communities and nations via our Community Health Program.

Photo courtesy of Money.

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