Gesundheit, Wohlstand und Malaria

Es gibt einen Zusammenhang zwischen Gesundheit und wirtschaftlicher Entwicklung. Säuglings-und Kindersterblichkeit, sowie die Lebenserwartung korrelieren mit steigendem Einkommen. In vier zufällig ausgewählten Ländern, in denen sich das Durchschnittseinkommen im Jahr 1990 auf 660, 1.727, 3.795, bzw. 11.422 Dollar belief, betrug die Säuglingssterblichkeitsrate 114, 66, 34 und 9 (pro Tausend). Die Überlebensrate bei Säuglingen steigt proportional zur Verdoppelung des Einkommens und dieser Trend setzt sich auch in anderen Kennzahlen aus den Bereichen Gesundheit und Wohlstand fort.

Verschiedene Krankheiten beeinträchtigen die Entwicklung in charakteristischer Weise. An HIV/AIDS sterben Menschen beispielsweise in ihren produktivsten Jahren und Millionen von Kindern werden dadurch zu Waisen. Dieser zweifache Schaden wird die Gesellschaften über Generationen hinweg zurückwerfen und potenzielle Investoren werden schon heute abgeschreckt.

Die wirtschaftlichen Konsequenzen der Malaria sind noch heimtückischer, vor allem in Regionen mit der höchsten Übertragungsrate. Im Gegensatz zu HIV/AIDS betrifft Malaria vor allem kleine Kinder und weniger die arbeitende Bevölkerung. Jedes Jahr erkranken ungefähr 300 Millionen Menschen an Malaria, wovon 1,5 Millionen sterben. Am stärksten betroffen sind kleine Kinder. Wer als Kind Malaria überlebt, entwickelt sich zu einem Erwachsenen mit relativer Immunität. Reisende in ein von Malaria betroffenes Land tragen jedoch aufgrund ihrer nicht vorhandenen Immunität das gleiche Erkrankungsrisiko wie die einheimischen Kinder.

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