Health­care progress is very wel­come

The New Age (Gauteng) - - COMMENT -

GLOB­ALLY, there is health­care for the rich and health­care for the poor. When it comes to health­care, death is not nec­es­sar­ily a lev­eller for the haves and have-nots.

The rich live longer and those not able to ac­cess good health­care die younger, as vir­tu­ally all longevity stud­ies show.

Part of the prob­lem has been how med­i­cal sci­ence and re­search have been skewed, cater­ing for those who can af­ford pricey medicines and pro­ce­dures mo­ti­vated by profit.

In this re­gard, there was a wel­come re­port in this news­pa­per yes­ter­day that the World Health Or­gan­i­sa­tion (WHO) is mak­ing rapid progress in the bat­tle against trop­i­cal dis­eases such as sleep­ing sick­ness and malaria, which largely af­flict poorer so­ci­eties in the Third World.

The suc­cess against these age-old dis­eases is be­ing at­trib­uted to greater po­lit­i­cal sup­port, gen­er­ous do­na­tions of medicines and im­proved liv­ing con­di­tions.

The WHO says 1 bil­lion peo­ple re­ceived treat­ment for trop­i­cal dis­eases in 2015. But much more needs to be done. Fur­ther progress de­pends on the achieve­ment of sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment goals adopted by the UN, es­pe­cially in san­i­ta­tion and the pro­vi­sion of potable wa­ter.

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