Thursday, March 10, 2011

Three Wishes

The other day I played the three wishes game with my daughter.  At first she picked wishes that would help her immediate family. I told her as nice as that sounded, my first two wishes would have to be the eradication of  malaria, and a way to solve problems without war.  Hey, wishes don't have to be realistic. Improvements to education would certainly be a valid candidate for the third wish.

For some news on the malaria and education front - watch this great 20 min speech (2-2009) by Bill Gates. Some might disagree on the relative devastation caused by baldness.

In addition to vastly improving quality of life, all three of my wishes would certainly improve the world's economic condition.

As discussed in an earlier post (3-2-2011), the GDP of the U.S. in 2008 would have been at least 9% higher (1.3 billion loss due to low scores, estimate by McKenzie/14.4 billion 2008 GDP from BEA) if the U.S. had closed the achievement gap with the best performing nations. 

Likewise, malaria imposes a big cost on GDP in many African countries. Malaria may have been responsible for more deaths than any other disease in human history. Malaria used to be a problem everywhere, but is now limited to a band around the equator. From the World Health Organization (click on Fact number to go to the WHO site): 

Fact 10: "Malaria causes an average loss of 1.3% of annual economic growth in countries with intense transmission. It traps families and communities in a downward spiral of poverty, disproportionately affecting marginalized and poor people who cannot afford treatment or who have limited access to health care. Malaria has lifelong effects through increased poverty and impaired learning. It cuts attendance at schools and workplaces. However, it is preventable and curable."

Fact 3:  "One in five (20%) of all childhood deaths in Africa are due to malaria. It is estimated that an African child has on average between 1.6 and 5.4 episodes of malaria fever each year. Every 30 seconds a child dies from malaria in Africa."

For an interesting take on the war front as it pertains to the middle east - watch:

What would your three wishes be?

No comments:

Post a Comment