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Discuss Investment in health is the most important investment a developing country can make.

Investment in Health Infrastructure and Education

In the present century, the developing nations are facing many problems including the lack of growth in the economy, environmental pollution, improper health protection systems and lack of education. Among all the different fields that need to be developed, lack of health protection and drawback economy, are considered as the two most severe issues in developing countries. For example, every year more than 1.2 million people gets killed in developing countries because of malaria (World Health Organization, n.d.). According to Gharib (2014), nearly 1.2 billion people within the developing countries have incomes of less than 1.25 dollars. In developing countries, the budget is always limited however to reduce some diseases such as malaria, it requires a large amount of funds. Hence, the investment would not only solve the health problem of residents but also solve theeconomic problem. The three most important areas such as health, basic infrastructure and education where investments in large amounts can be done to improve public health and enhance the economy. Investment in education is usually recommended as a good methodology for improving the economic growth and development by increasing the productivity. Moreover, investment of money could be done on basic infrastructure for improving health development and there would be reduced health problems. Although, some extent,it is true that investing in basic infrastructure and education, can enhance both public health and economy, investment in health is more important because health investment would provide the residents with more access to health treatment optionsand prevention of health issues and it would bring financial returns to labour.

Investment in health can be made in terms of both health education and health infrastructure and can prevent health problems and provide additional access to health treatment, and will increase residents’ health condition. The governments have introduced various new health infrastructure such as public hospitals, and provide health education to the citizens on how to safeguard their health. Hence, People will be educated about health to obtain more access to prevention of health issues and therapy as well. The health Minister of China, Chen believed that investing money in health infrastructure is an essential aspect to improve the life expectancy rate and resolve health illnesses (Cheng, 2008). In other words, in developing countries like China, the goal of increasing physical condition of residents will be achieved by investing more money in health. For instance, the EFA (Education for all) Global Monitoring Report shows that in Botswana, health education regarding diseases such as HIV and AIDS was provided to the people during the year 2006. As a result, in 2008, these diseases were reduced from 53% to 28% (as cited in Global Education Monitoring report, 2013). As the instance shows, by promoting health education and knowledge about the disease, people managed to avoid certain activities, which might have otherwise resulted in such diseases. The less number of health infrastructure and lack of health facilities in Afghanistan which leads to certain health related illnesses such as malaria, respiratory illness, diarrhea and measles which took many lives (Acerra, Iskyan, Qureshi, & Sharma, 2009). Therefore, investments in health could easily be considered as an effective approach to overcome certain health related issues and preserving the good mental and physical health condition of people in developing countries.

Importance of Investing in Health over Basic Infrastructure

Nonetheless, critics argued that investment in sanitation, pure water and basic infrastructure, should be greater because it is the most successful way to reduce health issues. Lancet (2014) revealed this fact that if the basic infrastructure of clean water and toilets is provided to the residents, particularly in many poor Southeast Asian countries and Africa, it will reduce many health problems such as Diarrhea. Furthermore, Lee and Schwab (2005) illustrated that in certain developing countries such as Pakistan and Peru, many digestive diseases due to the unavailability of clean drinking water affected residents.  In many developing nations, major numbers of residents have to drink dirty water with bacteria and toxic substances because of lack of water purification and lack of water resources available and the results will show many health problems. To resolve these issues, investment in basic infrastructure becomes inevitable. For example, the research study conducted by Capuno, Tan, Jr and Javier (2016) revealed that Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey between the years 1993 and 2008, when they introduced flush toilets and the passage of clean water through proper piping systems, decreased the rate of diarrhea among children up to 10% and 2% respectively. Thus, investment in basic infrastructure, in developed countries could improve residents’ health, which is the best example for developing countries.

It may be true that investment in basic infrastructure can increase the health condition of residents to some extent. Investing in basic infrastructure can improve the health condition, still major health issues such as cancer and AIDS in the developing countries cannot be cured just by providing flush toilets and clean water. Furthermore, investing only in basic infrastructure cannot cure diarrhea in some cases because there are various causes of diarrhea such as the infection by viruses and food poisoning that might lead to diarrhea (Koo et al., 2010). In the recent decades, the shortage of basic infrastructure was not the cause of critical illnesses such as cancer and AIDS, but it was the lack of health education and treatment, which allowed these diseases to pave their ways through the residents. For example, According to Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (2016), China has good basic infrastructures, but there are still 23,087 patients diagnosed with AIDS in an extremely developed area named Zhejiang. Here most of the people were less health educated, which leads to such kinds of critical diseases. Thus, investing in basic infrastructure is not the single best way to eradicate such kinds of diseases, but also proper health education and awareness should be provided to people about how they could prevent these diseases and lead a healthy life.

Economic Growth through Investment in Health

In developing countries, the benefit of making investments in health is the improvement of economic growth, as it can increase the financial return for the laborers to enterprise and society. This means that if enterprises and the governments improve the health budget than residents can make more contribution to work, which increases the revenue. Mental health and good physical healthare essential for improving the rate of return throughimproving the work efficiency (Muysken, Yetkiner, & Ziesemer, 1999).Definitely, health investment, will promote the development in the health of staff and staff would be mentally and physically able to dedicate themselves to increase production. Furthermore, this would reduce the sick leave of the employees. For instance, in 1897, the Union Pacific Railroad, started to invest in their employees’ health and they concentratedon the major health issues such as diabetes, obesity, hypertension, stress, depression. As a result, the Union Pacific Railford gained 3.23 times more profit than they invested in employees’ health (Institute of Medicine, 2002). Above example shows that, when the money is invested for employees health by the enterprise, more profits will be returned to the employer through employees for the improvement efficiency. Therefore, based on evidence, it could be stated that investment of money in health has enhanced the labors economic return and thus, is considered as an important aspect for ensuring development in the economy.

However, the critics argued that increase in economic growth have been made through investment in education in the developing countries. According to Schultz (1961) and Lucas (1988), educated workers have knowledge of how to do their work efficiently, which generate more economic effectiveness. Education is the only way to promote the labours technical capacity (Becker, Murphy, & Tamura, 1990). With the help of proper education, the labours could capable of adapting to new equipment and technologies. Because of knowledge of new technologies, labours become aware of the most effective production methods. According to Phillips (1994), in 1990, in developing countries, on average, farmers received 4 years education which results in 7.4 % of improvement in terms of output of the crops produced by them. Khare (2014) illustrated that if Indians could invest 1 dollar in education, then they will get 53 dollars as an initial wage. Thus, gaining education will enhance the development of financial condition with positive impact, finally making a huge improvement in terms of the economy of the country. It can be concluded that making investments in education can bring development in economy by improving production level or work efficiency.

Investments made in health is considered better than making investment in education, as it can improve the development of the economyin an effective way. According to Li and Liang (2010), time of education will be saved and efficiency of education will be increase by increasing citizen’s mental and physical health. By providing good health condition, a person will be benefited in terms of increased life expectancy, which added more opportunities to access to education (Li & Liang, 2010). Based on the statistical data, 10% of health investment, which result that student, can receive more 1 to 2 years of education. (The Partnership for Child development, n.d.). The data shows that health investment can provide additional opportunities to residents to receive education for longer period.  Therefore, there are more positive impact of health investment on economic growth than investment in education, will improve economic growth and development in economy by providing physical foundation to residents to more access education.

In conclusion, in developing countries, investment in basic infrastructure and education, might improve public health level and increase economic growth. The reason being, basic infrastructure investment will lead to reduce some disease and investment in education will improve work efficiency. However, investment in health can raise public health and boost the economy in developing countries, because health educationprovides more access to disease therapy and prevention and investment in health can improve financial return to labors. Thus, in developing countries, it is necessary to invest more money in health to acquire long-term development and growth in terms of the good health of residents and development in the economy too.

Reference

World Health Organization. (n.d.). Environment and health in developing countries. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/heli/risks/ehindevcoun/en/

Cheng, T. M. (2008), China’s Latest Health Reforms: A Conversation with Chinese Health Minister Chen Zhu, Health Affairs,27(4) page 1103-1110. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.27.4.1103

GEM report. (2013, November 29). Education plays a critical role in fight against HIV and AIDS [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://gemreportunesco.wordpress.com/2013/11/29/education-plays-a-crucial-role-in-fight-against-hiv-and-aids/

Acerra, J. R., Iskyan, K., Qurshi, Z. A., & Sharma, R. K. (2009). Rebuilding the health care system in Afghanistan: an overview of primary care and emergency services. National Institutes of Health, 2(2), 77-82, doi: 10.1007/s12245-009-0106-y.

The Lancet. (2014). Water and Sanitation: Addressing Inequalities. Retrieved from https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(14)60665-6/fulltext

Lee, E. J., &Schwab, K. J. (2005). Deficiencies in drinking water distribution systems in developing countries. Journal of Water and Health, 3(2), 109-127. Retrieved fromhttps://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.547.

1489&rep=rep1&type=pdf

Capuno, J. J., Tan, C. A. R., Jr, & Javier, X. (2016), Wash for child health: Some evidence in support of public intervention in the Philippines. Retrieved from https://www.econ.upd.edu.ph/dp/index.php/dp/article/view/1498/981

Koo, Hoonmo, L., Ajami, Nadim J., Jiang, Zhi-Dong, … (2010) Noroviruses as a Cause of Diarrhea in Travelers to Guatemala, India, and Mexico. Journal of Clinical Microbiology48.5 (2010): 1673-1676. Retrieved fromhttps://pubmedcentralcanada.ca/pmcc/articles/PMC2863947/pdf/2072-09.pdf

UNAIDS. (2016). Zhejiang province predicts that the number of people having HIV testing will exceed 10 million. Retrieved from https://www.unaids.org.cn/cn/index/topic.asp?id=1125&classname=Media%20Reporting&class=2

Gharib, M. (2014). 25 Most shocking global poverty facts. Retrieved from https://www.one.org/us/2014/10/21/25-most-shocking-global-poverty-facts/

Muysken, J., Yetkiner, I. H., &Ziesemer, T. (1999). Health, Labour Productivity and Growth, MERIT Research Memorandum, No. 99- 030, University of Maastricht.

Institute of Medicine. (2002).The Future of the Public Health in the 21st Century. Washington DC: The National Academies Press. doi:10.17226/10548.

Schultz, T. W. (1961). Investment in human capital. American economy review, 51(1), 1-17. Retrieved from https://www.jstor.org/stable/1818907?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

Becker, G., Murphy, K., & Tamura, R. (1990). Human Capital, Fertility, and Economic Growth. The Journal of Political Economy, 98(5), S12. Retrieved from https://www.ntaccounts.org/doc/repository/Becker_et_al.pdf

Phillips, J. (1994). Farmer education and farmer efficiency: A meta-analysis. Economic Development and Cultural Change, 43(1), 149. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/24097723_Farmer_Education_and_Farmer_Efficiency_A_Meta-Analysis

Khare, M. (2014). Employment, Employability and Higher Education in India: The Missing Links. Higher Education for the Future,1(1), 39-62. doi: 10.1177/2347631113518396

Li, H., & Liang, H. (2010). Health, education, and economic growth in East Asia. Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies, 3(2), 110-131. doi: 10.1108/17544401011052267

The Partnership for Child Development. (n.d). Retrieved from https://www.schoolsand

health.org/Pages/AnthropometricStatusGrowth.aspx

Lucas, R. E. (1988). On the Mechanics of Economic Development. Journal of Monetary Economics, 22(1): pp.3~42. Retrieved from https://www.parisschoolof

economics.eu/docs/darcillon-thibault/lucasmechanicseconomicgrowth.pdf

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