Los pobres más sanos

La expectativa de vida en los países de altos ingresos del mundo hoy es de 78 años, mientras que es de sólo 51 años en los países menos desarrollados, y de apenas 40 años en algunos países africanos azotados por el sida. De cada 1.000 chicos nacidos en los países ricos, siete mueren antes de cumplir cinco años; de cada 1.000 nacimientos en los países más pobres, 155 chicos mueren antes de cumplir cinco años.

Estas muertes no son solamente tragedias humanas, sino también calamidades para el desarrollo económico, ya que reducen sistemáticamente el crecimiento económico y ayudan a que los países más pobres queden atrapados en la pobreza. Pero una creciente cantidad de programas en todo el mundo están demostrando que la muerte y la enfermedad de los pobres se pueden reducir marcadamente, y rápidamente, con inversiones dirigidas en programas de salud pública.

Las grandes victorias de los últimos años se produjeron a través del Fondo Global contra el Sida, la Tuberculosis y la Malaria. El Fondo, creado hace seis años, ofreció financiamiento a más de 130 países para ampliar sus programas contra estas tres enfermedades mortales. Desde entonces, los programas del Fondo Global ayudaron a aproximadamente un millón de africanos a recibir medicamentos antirretrovirales para tratar el sida, financiaron la distribución de alrededor de 30 millones de tules antimosquito para combatir la malaria y sustentaron el tratamiento de unos dos millones de personas con tuberculosis.

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