Sustainable Developments: Primary Health for All; January 2008; Scientific American Magazine; by Jeffrey D. Sachs; 2 Page(s)
Sixty years ago at the launch of the World Health Organization, the world's governments declared health to be a fundamental human right "without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition." Thirty years ago in Alma Ata, the world's governments called for health for all by the year 2000, mainly through the expansion of access to primary health facilities and services. While the world missed that target by a long shot, we can still achieve it, at remarkably low cost. Ten key steps can bring us to health for all in the next few years.
First, affluent countries should devote 0.1 percent of their gross domestic product to health care for low-income countries. With a rich world GDP of $35 trillion, that would create a fund of roughly $35 billion a year--enough for $35 per capita in added health services for the roughly one billion people who need them.