Bloomberg and Gates Back A $225 Million Effort to Save 100 Million Lives Over Five Years
Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) such as heart disease and stroke are the number one cause of death worldwide. In 2015 alone, nearly 18 million people died from CVDs which accounts for 31 percent of all global deaths. Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) like CVDs, cancer, and diabetes represent about 70 percent of all deaths worldwide, with 80 percent of those deaths occurring in low- and middle-income countries (LIMCs).
Yet despite these staggering numbers, NCDs don’t receive nearly as much attention from global health funders as high-profile dread diseases like malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis. Michael Bloomberg has attributed this oversight to what he says is a “casual acceptance of NCDs” that has led “society to tolerate them at tragically high levels.” Outcomes for NCD sufferers in LIMCs, it should be noted, are considerably worse than the outcomes of those living in wealthy countries; many people are dying needlessly from diseases that wealthy countries already know how to manage in ways that could countless lives.
The question now is whether more global health funders will turn their attention to helping spread these strategies of prevention to poorer countries. . .