SAN FRANCISCO – The world is at a unique historical inflection point. By making today’s medicines, vaccines, and other health tools universally available – and by stepping up research efforts to develop tomorrow’s health tools – we could close the health gap between wealthy and poor countries within a generation. By 2035, we could achieve a “grand convergence” in global health, reducing preventable maternal and child deaths, including those caused by infectious diseases, to unprecedentedly low levels worldwide. What it will take is a coordinated, future-oriented investment strategy.
A group of 25 global health and economics experts (including us) recently came together to develop such a strategy. In a year-long process, the group identified the tools, systems, and financing that would be needed to achieve global health convergence, and produced Global Health 2035 – an ambitious investment blueprint that would save millions of lives and bolster human welfare, productivity, and economic growth.
With aggressively scaled-up health investments, ten million lives could be saved annually, beginning in 2035. And the economic payoff would be enormous: every dollar invested in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) to achieve this grand convergence would return $9-20.
Success will require a global commitment to ensuring that everyone can access today’s powerful health technologies and services, like childhood vaccines, treatment for HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, and prenatal care for pregnant women. It will also require increased funding for the development and delivery of new health tools to redress the conditions that disproportionately kill women and children in LMICs.