Short Talk on world health careGoodAfternoon everyone, I am gonna talk about world health care. On one hand we arehappy with the fact that world is now living longer, the prospects for a babyborn in 2018 are much brighter than they were in 1990. Now a girl can expect to live to 69 years anda boy to 75 gaining a seven years compared to 1990.The global mortality ratehas decreased by 28%.
Since 2005 alone,deaths from both HIV/AIDS and malaria have been reduced by 40%, and maternalmortality by 30%. Well,it’s not all happy situation, decline in mortality from communicable diseaseshas corresponded with a rise in deaths from non-communicable diseases. 7 out of10 people die because of that. Heart diseases, certain types of cancer, Alzheimer’s,deaths because of these have risen. Sowhat we can do about this? Or let me ask you a bigger question? How do youfight a disease? Some of you will say, let’s make a vaccine or drug? Certainlythat’s a necessary thing to do but that’s just not enough. We can do that whenwe know what the problem is.
But there are situations when we don’t even know theproblem. Around 2.6million babies die around the world before they’re even one monthold.
2.6 million! That’s a big number and you know what more shocking is, intoo many cases, we simply don’t know. We have no idea. We are researcher, we like to fix things.
But wecan’t fix what we can’t define. Now, letus talk about HIV, some of us work on that. As I said, death from HIV hasreduced by 40% since 2005. Things look better now but still it remains aterrible global challenge. Worldwide, about 17 million women are livingwith HIV. We know that when these women become pregnant, they cantransfer the virus to their baby. We also know in the absence oftherapy, half those babies will not survive until the age of two.
Butwe know that antiretroviral therapy can virtually guarantee that she willnot transmit the virus to the baby. So what do we do? Would that mean wetest and treat every pregnant woman in the world? That would do thejob. But it’s just not practical.
So instead, we can target those areaswhere HIV rates are the highest. And you won’t believe, this approach to apublic health problem has cut by nearly half HIV transmission frommothers to baby in the last five years.Let metalk little about disease eradication. In 1977, smallpox was successfully eradicated,it was a big day for world health and everyone was excited by the possibilityof a disease-free world but since then we’ve eradicated well nothing not onehuman affecting disease and it’s not for lack of trying take polio for examplewe know how it spreads and we have the vaccine so why are we not able toeradicate it.
Well, having the vaccine is only half the battle and the otherhalf may involve creating world peace. Because war-torn countries and terroristscontrolled areas are especially difficult to vaccinate, many of them areimpossible. You would be wondering how this topic has suddenly come here. Butsimply put, you can do anything on a global stage unless we are united. Unlesswe all feel in the same way.
Howmany of you have heard about Chan and Zuckerburg initiative? Billionairephilanthropists had declared their intention to cure,prevent or manage all human disease before the end of the century. Initiativeinvolves spending 3 billion dollar for research purpose. It is highly ambitiousbut it’s not completely ridiculous. A century is a long time in medicine.
Mostbabies born in 1900 did not live to see the age of 50. Medicine has not beenthe only reason for the dramatic rise in life expectancy since, but it was acrucial factor. By 2100 we’ll be shocked by how much we’ve achieved, and we’llbe more shocked with initiatives like this.Arescientific breakthroughs only things that we need, well answer is certainly no.As of now, most of the disease in the low income countries does not require ascientific breakthrough. World health organization has made it clear. Accordingto them what all it takes are facilities and infrastructures.
So what do you doabout it? Well you might think spending on healthcare is a one way to solve it?Yes, it is but it’s not that simple either. Let’stake United States for an example. They spend 15% of their GDP on health care (Theyspend 10 times more than the second leading country in the world). But what weknow is, out of the top 50 countries on the planet with organizedhealth care systems, they rank 37th. What we need to know is more isnot more. Let meput all things together, every individual on this planet has a right to live,we all agree with that and when we say that, we cannot ignore diseases. I havetalked a little about how we can fight it.
For us, research is definitely oneof such solution but providing basic education, tackling malnutrition, providinginformation technology and more importantly creating a world peace all areequally important. We have a facilities,what we actually need is delivery guy who deliver all such facilities fromwhere it is available to where we need it. Who will be that guy? Whose responsibilityis this? Government, philanthropists, non-profit organization. I think its responsibilityof all of us. Together we can do great things that cannot be done otherwise andtogether we can achieve pretty much anything we want.