The Economies of Less Developed Countries

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EC3040 Economics of Less Developed Countries Tutorial Topic 6: Health and Development Examine how health issues affect other policy areas and evaluate the options available to governments in LDCs Date: 17th December 2010 Name: Clodagh Mullins Student Number: 08590711 Course: BESS The World Health Organizations (WHO) definition of health is 'Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity'.(WHO website) This implies that governments in LDCs should not only be concerned with the curing and reduction of disease but also for the quality of life of their citizens. Therefore there is a need not just for health policies to be in place but also good education, economic development and growth policies to ensure social and mental satisfaction within the country. However health issues in these countries continue to affect other policy areas which make these social goals less attainable. This essay will take to following formate. Firstly it will discuss the correlation between health policies and other policies. Then the essay will explain the relationship between critical health issues; HIV/AIDS, Malaria, other tropical diseases and malnutrition and there affect on other governmental policies. Finally in the secondly half of the essay the possible solutions available to governments of LDCs will be examined. Firstly it is necessary to understand the trade off between the implementation of health policy and other policies. There is a strong correlation between health and education policy. In order to have a population that has the ability to learn and absorb knowledge, they need to be healthy. Similarly if the population is uneducated there will be a reduction in the standard of health care provided as these programs rely on skills learnt in school, such as general nutrition and sanitation information. Thus greater health capital will improve the returns to investment in education by increasing attendance in schools, ability to learn and increasing the life span. The same can be said for an increased education capital and its affects on health policy outcomes. Hence these non mutually exclusive policies have to be developed closely as a lack in one could deem the other irrelevant. An example of this is the 'Progresa' developed in the mexico in 1997 a program that offered cash grants to the mothers if they kept their children in school and participated in health education programs amongst other conditions which will be discuss in more detail later in the essay. The graph below shows the correlation between life expectancy, which is an outcome of investment in health, and the corresponding affects on the level of literacy, (a goal for education policy) in a large sample of countries. It is clear from the graph that countries with higher investment in health policies and hence a higher life expectancy, have a higher literary rate. Regardless of the correlation between health policy and other policies, health issues have a direct affect on the implementation and success or failures of other government policies. Throughout the next sections this paper will examine the affects that health issues such as HIV/AIDS, malaria and other tropical diseases have on other policy areas. A understanding of these affects are key in the setting of governmental policies. HIV/AIDS infects large numbers of adults and children around the world, as you can see from the diagram below, the devastating outcomes of AIDS affects millions of lives. However the majority of people affected are in LDCs. HIV/AIDS has damaging implications on the economic development of LDCs as it affects the healthy working age of the population having a detrimental effect on the countries level of productivity as a whole. It is the leading cause of death in adults in LDCs (Todaro and smith, 2008), hence influences many policies such as education, crime and economic development, as mentions above. HIV/AIDS directly...
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