Global burden of disease (GBD) estimates help us understand how disease, injury and risk factors impact health at both the population and individual levels. Specifically, the GBD measures the prevalence and impact of fatal and non-fatal conditions at the country (and sometimes sub-national) level, as well as the underlying causes for these conditions.
CGD Policy Blogs
The global health sector is notorious for requiring a laundry list of indicators to monitor and evaluate programs. A recent WHO report on the burden of indicators and reporting for health quantifies the extent of the problem; some countries are requested to report on as many as 600 indicators (and this is the conservative estimate).
Cement is poured, and children in Mexico have less diarrhea. Acetic acid is applied, and cervical cancer claims the lives of fewer women in India. Poor households receive regular cash transfers in South Africa, and girls reduce sexual activity. These are a few cases in which large-scale efforts to improve health in low and middle-income countries have succeeded, and are among a new generation of success stories that CGD and the Disease Control Priorities Network (DCPN) will feature in the third edition of Millions Saved, set for release in 2015.
Cost-effectiveness studies compare the costs and benefits of different interventions with the aim of improving decisions on the allocation of scarce resources for health. Or, put simply, they allow policy-makers to set priorities for health spending and consider how the next dollar available can get more health for the money.
Saturday was World No Tobacco Day which prompted me to ask: “What’s new?” After looking at the press releases, I decided that the most significant thing that happened last year was that another 30 million young people have started smoking around the world. Of these, 25 million are in low- and middle-income countries and about 12 million of them will die prematurely from disease linked to tobacco – 10% of them because of second-hand smoke. This epidemic is not caused by a virus or spread by mosquitoes. It is intentionally planned and profited from by large tobacco companies – for-profit multinationals as well as state-owned monopolies.