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Commentary
July 4, 2007

Why Rich Countries Should Care About the World's Least Healthy People

Author Affiliations
 

Author Affiliations: O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC; and Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland.

JAMA. 2007;298(1):89-92. doi:10.1001/jama.298.1.89

Why should rich countries care about the world's least healthy people? The subject is so important that it affects the fate of millions of individuals and has international economic, political, and security ramifications. Rich countries should care because global health serves their national interests, and helping the most disadvantaged is ethically the right thing to do. If international health assistance were structured in a way that was scalable (sufficient to meet deep needs) and sustainable (to create enduring solution), it would have a dramatic influence on the life prospects of the world's poorest populations.

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