One of the greatest human accomplishments has been the spectacular improvement in health since 1950. In developing countries, life expectancy has risen from 40 to 65 years, and the chances that a child will survive to the age of five has doubled. In addition to directly improving people's lives, this progress contributes to economic growth. While some of the improvements in health is the result of overall social and economic gains, about half of it is due to specific efforts to address major causes of disease and disability -- such as providing better and more accessible health services, introducing new medicines and other health technologies, and fostering healthier behaviors.
Millions Saved: Proven Success in Global Health is about part of that success story: remarkable cases in which large-scale efforts to improve health in developing countries have succeeded - saving millions of lives and preserving the livelihoods and social fabric of entire communities.
From the eradication of polio in Latin America, to the elimination of measles in southern Africa, to HIV prevention in Thailand, the 20 cases in this study provide clear evidence that large-scale success in health is possible. The book provides policy-relevant information about how major successes can be achieved in the future, and clear evidence that global health challenges, which are often perceived as daunting, are indeed solvable.
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