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Global health equality can be realized in a generation | Updated: 2013-12-05 11:08

It is feasible to eliminate health disparities between poor and wealthy nations within a generation, according to a report released in The Lancet on Tuesday in Johannesburg.

The report, Globel Health 2035: A World Converging within a Generation, shows an ambitious investment plan to governments, police makers, and donors about how to bring preventable infectious, maternal, and child deaths in all countries down to the levels currently seen in the best-performing middle-income countries.

The report release event was hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and The Lancet, together with other health related institutions.

Lawrence H. Summers, professor at Harvard University, led a group of 25 leading world health experts and economists for producing the report, and he said, "Now, for the first time in human history, we are on the verge of being able to achieve a milestone for humanity: eliminating major health inequalities."

"The powerful drugs and vaccines now available make reaching this milestone affordable. It is our generation's unique opportunity to invest in making this vision real," he said.

If the healthcare investment suggestions are followed, the authors estimate that in the year 2035 alone, nearly 10 million lives could be saved in low-income and middle-income countries.

"4C countries- Chile, China, Costa Rica and Cube- are the successful cases showing that even poor countries can achieve rapid declines in death rates by investing in health, according to the report.

The 4C countries started off at similar levels of income and mortality as today's low-income countries, but are now among the best-performing middle-income countries.

From an African perspective, Mthuli Ncube, Vice President and Chief Economist of the AfDB, said that the data shows investing in health in Africa would not only boost economy and GDP over time, but also create jobs and markets for more inclusive growth.

"Investing in health is also an investment in prosperity, social and financial protection, and national security," Richard Horton, Editor-in-Chief of The Lancet, said, and adding that "but which we do not capture well in our usual measures of development. "

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