WHO should stick to health
Monday, March 23, 2009
It seems no one can open their mouths these days without emitting some judgement on the global economic crisis. Every subject must be related to this obligatory talking point.
The affliction has struck Director-General of the WHO Margaret Chan, who has made a strange foray into the sphere of macro economics and global finance.
In reports last week she was careful to stress that she doesn't exactly oppose free trade. However, she continued:
"But I do have to say this: the market does not solve social problems."
Health is therefore at risk, from such menaces as globalisation, greater market efficiency, and trade liberalisation, reports the article.
It's a shame that those at the top of the WHO are still clinging to such ideology. As explained by Indur Goklany, rapid improvements in health outcomes have coincided with industrialisation, global trade and subsequent economic growth.
During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, increased globalisation saw food supplies increase, access to clean water increase and infant mortality fall. Life expectancy in Africa has increased from 30 years before the industrial revolution, to 46.6 years in 1950, to 65.4 years today.
We all wish to see this figure increase further, and for people throughout the world to live longer, more prosperous lives. Goklany demonstrates the achievements of the "Cycle of Progress" - economic growth, technological change and free trade. This is how "social problems" are solved.