Zdraví, bohatství, malárie

Mezi zdravím a ekonomickou výkonností existuje vzájemný vztah. Dětská úmrtnost a průměrná délka života tak například odvisí od výse průměrného příjmu. Ve čtyřech náhodně vybraných zemích, kde v roce 1990 průměrný roční příjem činil 660, 1 727, 3 795 a 11 422 dolarů, se dětská úmrtnost pohybovala na 114, 66, 33 a 9 osobách na tisíc obyvatel. S rostoucím příjmem se úměrně snižuje úmrtnost, což se samozřejmě promítá i do ostatních ukazatelů zdravotního stavu a bohatství státu.

Zhorsené zdravotní podmínky výrazným způsobem brání rozvoji. Například choroba AIDS útočí na populaci v neproduktivnějsím věku a každoročně vezme milionům sirotků jejich rodiče. Tento dvojí účinek poskodí společnost na dlouhé generace a navíc už dnes odlákává investice.

Hospodářský dopad malárie je ovsem jestě zákeřnějsí, zvlásť tam, kde je riziko přenosu velmi vysoké. Na rozdíl od AIDS totiž malárie nejvíce postihuje děti. Malárií každoročně onemocní 300 milionů lidí, z toho 1,5 milionu jí podlehne. Větsina z nich jsou malé děti. Děti, jež přežijí, jsou už proti ní v dospělosti relativně imunní. Ovsem návstěvníci oblastí zamořených malárií jsou vystaveni stejnému riziku jako místní děti, protože jim imunita chybí.

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