Health Care in Asia

Afghanistan Struggles to Provide Decent Health Care

This articles exposes the flawed healthcare system of Afghanistan, a country that has experienced 25 years of devastation and war, and discusses the impact of the inadequate healthcare system on the country’s citizens. Afghanistan has one of the world’s highest infant and child mortality rates. According to the official statistics, out of  one-thousand live births, one hundred and twenty eight die before they are a year old, and 1 out of every 5 children do not live beyond the age of 5. An Afghan citizen points out how private hospitals in Afghanistan are only for “rich businessmen”. He says, “poor people have to use government hospitals and if these can’t help, children die.” In 2003, basic health care was available within a two hour walking distance to 3% of the population; now, it is 85%. However, the treatment skills and apparatus needed to perform certain surgeries or check-ups are not offered by many government hospitals, and many say that “decent health care” is only available to those who can afford to pay.

Lyn, Tan Ee. “Afghanistan struggles to provide decent healthcare.” Reuters. 21 Apr 2008. 10 July 2009.

Health Care in India: Lessons from a Frugal Innovator

India faces perhaps the world’s heaviest disease rates, ranging from infectious to common diseases. The public sector is overwhelmed, not surprising considering how little India’s government spends on health care. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs in India, taking advantage of the country’s technological and medical talent, are taking innovative and effective approaches towards health treatment, which the article refers to as “approaches that have much to teach the rich world’s bloated health-care systems.” These innovators find tools and techniques that spare resources and improve outcomes. The Indian government is currently focusing on cutting costs to make health care services available to most of the population. It encourages public-private partnerships and promotes health investments in smaller cities and rural areas.

“Health care in India: Lessons from a frugal innovator.” The Economist. 16 Apr 2009. 20 July 2009.

Nepal: Poverty in Nepal at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century

This report discusses the state of poverty in Nepal and touches on various issues that the country is facing. Regarding health care, the poor do not have adequate access to health care facilities. The cost of treatment and the distance to a medical facility from rural Nepal acts as “obstacles” for adequate care.The report suggests channeling social spending towards primary and lower secondary health care, provided at health and sub-health posts, to make these services  more accessible for the poor.

World Bank. “Nepal: Poverty in Nepal at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century.” World Bank Report No. 18639-NEP. 1 Dec 1998. 11 July 2009. (Recommended pages: 11-14)

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