November 24, 2016 – Small Money


Anchor lead: Protecting the health of all requires a very small investment per person, Elizabeth Tracey reports

For as little as one to two dollars per day, many of the world’s top health problems could be controlled and life expectancies extended, a recent Lancet study concludes.  Mike Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says even those small amounts of money translate into big expenditures.

Klag: The problem with small amounts of money is when you spread it over 3 billion people or 4 billion people, it’s not.  The Global Burden of Disease Study gives us a road map for where we need to put our resources and then we need to make rational decisions.  If you take HIV for example.  We have saved millions of lives from HIV by antiretroviral therapy.  That’s therapy that cannot stop. That’s the problem with chronic diseases because HIV is now, on therapy a chronic disease, is that now you can’t stop.  It requires repeated investment.  :29

Klag turns to the Global Burden of Disease study to inform policy on not just monetary investment but infrastructure, education and other resources, and notes that prevention, especially for diseases and conditions where a vaccine is available, remains the best strategy. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.