When it comes to public health, there are seemingly endless ways in which health might be improved given the right amount funding. Campaigns to reduce smoking, vaccinate against disease, or improve organ donation rates all cost money, and deciding how to use the public health purse to get the biggest bang for your buck is a challenge that all governments face. In the context of developing countries, the challenges can be even greater, especially given that access to the most basic health services is beyond the reach of many.
Last year, I discussed some of the challenges faced by developing nations, and how countries like China have made great strides to address systemic deficiencies, with Dr David Hipgrave on an episode of Up Close. David is a paediatrician and a research associate at the Nossal Institute for Global Health at the University of Melbourne. For 7 years, until late 2011, David worked for the United Nations Children’s Fund, better known as UNICEF, first in Indonesia and then in China as Chief of UNICEF’s Health and Nutrition programs in those countries.