Seventh, the world should honor, for just a few billion dollars per year, the access of the poorest of the poor to sexual and reproductive health services, including family planning, contraception, and emergency obstetrical care. Eighth, the Global Fund should offer roughly $400 million per year for comprehensive control of several tropical diseases, mainly worm infections, which occur in virtually the same regions where malaria is rampant. Ninth, the Global Fund should also open a new financing mechanism to bolster primary health care, including most importantly the construction of clinics and the hiring and training of nurses and community health workers.
Tenth, using recent breakthroughs in medicine and public health, the expanded health systems in the poorest countries should be equipped to handle non-communicable diseases which have long been neglected but which are often treatable at low cost: hypertension, cataracts and depression.
These simple steps could save the lives of nearly 10 million adults and children per year, at a cost that would be nearly unnoticeable to the rich world. By combining improved survival with access to family planning and contraception, these measures would also slow rather than accelerate population growth in the poorest countries, thereby easing the economic and environmental strains that bulging populations are imposing on the impoverished regions. Health for all is not only the moral imperative it was at the launch of the World Health Organization 60 years ago, but is also the best practical bargain on the planet.