What’s The Good News From Bangladesh?

August 8th, 2010 by INMED



In Bangladesh forty years ago one infant in five died during the first year. Today, only one infant in twenty dies. WHAT’S the reason for this progress? You choose:


A = Childhood vaccinations.

B = General economic development.

C = National health insurance.

D = Malaria prevention.


In his provocative book The End Of Poverty, Columbia University professor Jeffrey D. Sachs brilliantly illustrates how economic growth in the poorest nations – those where people live on less than one dollar per day – has brought with it unprecedented progress in physical health. The correct answer to our question is B. In Bangladesh, per capita income has doubled since 1971, while life expectancy has increased from forty-four to sixty-two and infant mortality has fallen from fourteen percent to five percent. How does economic growth foster physical health? Through improvements in housing, nutrition, vector control, water and sanitation, general education, industrial safety, medical care, and incentives to reduce fertility.