In a biological sense, last year’s Ebola epidemic, which struck West Africa, spilled over into the United States and Europe, and has to date led to more than 27,000 infections and more than 11,000 deaths, was a great surprise. Local health and political leaders did not know of the presence of the hemorrhagic fever virus in the 35,000-square-mile Guinea Forest Region, and no human cases had ever been identified in the region prior to the outbreak.
The latest UN development initiative calls for achieving universal health coverage by 2030, a goal widely supported in the global health community but one that is possibly too ambitious, writes CFR’s Laurie Garrett.
The amount of international aid given to address noncommunicable diseases is minimal. Most of it is directed to wealthier countries and focuses on the prevention of unhealthy lifestyles. Explanations for the current direction of noncommunicable disease aid include that these are diseases of affluence that benefit from substantial research and development into their treatment in high-income countries and are better addressed through domestic tax and policy measures to reduce risk-factor prevalence than through aid programs. This study assessed these justifications. First, we examined the relationships among premature adult mortality, defined as the probability that a person who has lived to the age of fifteen will die before the age of sixty from noncommunicable diseases; the major risk factors for these diseases; and country wealth. Second, we compared noncommunicable and communicable diseases prevalent in poor and wealthy countries alike, and their respective links to economic development. Last, we examined the respective roles that wealth and risk prevention have played in countries that achieved substantial reductions in premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases. Our results support greater investment in cost-effective noncommunicable disease preventive care and treatment in poorer countries and a higher priority for reducing key risk factors, particularly tobacco use.
Once thought to be challenges for affluent countries alone, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases are now the leading cause of death and disability in developing countries. The economic and human costs are high and rising in low- and middle-income countries, threatening their continued development prosperity. Lung, liver, cervical and breast cancers constitute a large proportion of this growing burden and can be addressed with life-saving and low-cost interventions.
To obtain better value for health-care dollars, it's important to evaluate in detail which ones are well-spent and which are not. The $150-billion-a-year market for implantable medical devices in the U.S. -- which includes everything from artificial hips to pacemakers -- is a good illustration of this challenge and how to meet it.
In recent years, frugal and reverse innovation have gained attention as potential strategies for increasing the quality and accessibility of health care while slowing the growth in its costs. Thomas J. Bollyky arges that the demand for these types of innovation is increasing and outlines three practical questions for policymakers seeking real investments and results.
Medicare costs are rising a bit faster than they have during the past few years. But by reinforcing some the changes that are already occurring, we can nip this increase in the bud -- and two developments show the way.
Soaring levels of air, water, and soil pollution pose growing health risks and feed public discontent toward the government, but political hurdles prevent China from effectively addressing the problems, writes CFR’s Yanzhong Huang.
Already struggling to meet the needs of its people before its earthquake, the weak government of Nepal faces enormous obstacles in warding off further disaster and harnessing outside aid, writes CFR’s Laurie Garrett.
The United Nations Global Ebola Response released this report in May 2015. It discusses how the outbreak occurred, describes the impact of the outbreak for health, schools, the economy, and more, and provides analysis on how to coordinate a better response in the future.
Research links for news, current outbreaks, research and data, legislation, conferences, and primary sources focused on global health and organizations involved in addressing infectious diseases (also known as communicable diseases) such as Ebola, polio, MERS and influenza.
U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) released this draft of its report Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States on April 7, 2015, in response to President Obama's Climate Action Plan. The final report, expected to be published in early 2016, is "intended to present a comprehensive, evidence-based, and, where possible, quantitative estimation of observed and projected public health impacts related to climate change in the United States."
In his testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health Policy, Thomas J. Bollyky argues that continued U.S. and private sector leadership on the unfinished health agenda in Africa is as important now as it has been in the past and for the same reasons: a peaceful, inclusive economy presupposes healthier, more productive lives.
The authors argue that the United States has responded inadequately to the rise of Chinese power and recommend placing less strategic emphasis on the goal of integrating China into the international system and more on balancing China's rise.
Campbell evaluates the implications of the Boko Haram insurgency and recommends that the United States support Nigerian efforts to address the drivers of Boko Haram, such as poverty and corruption, and to foster stronger ties with Nigerian civil society.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »