Taylor, Carl E.
April 1965
Foreign Affairs;Apr1965, Vol. 43 Issue 3, p475
This article discusses the contributions of health programs in the promotion of economic development in various countries. First, better health is an investment in the human resources required for economic development. People have been too much concerned with the quantitative effects of reducing mortality and the frightening population growth which results. The qualitative benefits of increased labor productivity which result from reductions in morbidity are even more important than the effects on mortality. Many dramatic case histories can be cited of the effects of removing long-standing obstacles to development programs through improved health .A second contribution of health to economic development is that a dramatic demonstration of improved health in a traditional society can spark more widespread acceptance of other innovations. Modern medical care in an area of great need provides a clear demonstration that the past does not have to determine the future. Better health changes motivation. Improved human welfare becomes a reasonable goal. Increased life expectancy in itself changes the human time scale and makes effort and planning for the future worthwhile .The third and most important way in which health programs contribute to economic development is by providing the best prospects of solving the population problem. In order to get acceptance of family planning, it is essential that parents have some assurance that children already born will have a reasonable chance of surviving to adulthood.


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