Der wirtschaftliche Nutzen der Krankheitsbekämpfung

San Francisco: Große Teile der Welt profitieren bisher nicht von den bemerkenswerten Fortschritten im Bereich der Gesundheit, die während des vergangenen Jahrhunderts erzielt wurden. Tatsächlich wären in den verarmten Ländern Millionen von Todesfällen vermeidbar durch Vorsorge- und Behandlungsoptionen, die die reiche Welt heute schon einsetzt.

In diesem Jahr werden in den Ländern mit niedrigem bis mittlerem Einkommen zehn Millionen Kinder sterben. Wären die Todesraten für Kinder dort dieselben wie in den reichen Ländern, wären es weniger als eine Million. Andererseits: Wären es dieselben wie in den reichen Ländern vor nur 100 Jahren, wären es 30 Millionen.

Der wesentliche Unterschied zwischen heute und damals ist nicht das Einkommen, sondern das technische Wissen über Krankheitsursachen und Eingriffe, mit denen sich Krankheiten oder zumindest ihre schlimmsten Symptome vermeiden lassen. Die heutigen Hilfsmittel zur Verbesserung der Gesundheit sind so leistungsstark und preiswert, dass die gesundheitliche Lage selbst in den armen Ländern relativ gut sein könnte, wenn die Politiker das relativ wenige Geld bloß an der richtigen Stelle ausgeben würden.

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