Alma-Ata at 40 Years

Last year (2018) marked the 40th anniversary of the 1978 Declaration of Alma-Ata, a text which underscores the importance of health for all people. The authors of the Lancet Commission on Investing in Health, including CHDS Faculty Director Dr. Sue J. Goldie, use this benchmark year to reflect upon their 2013 commission report, Global Health 2035: A World Converging within a Generation (GH2035). The report highlights the impact of demographic and epidemiological shifts on achieving a grand convergence in health.

In this report, which assesses progress towards a grand convergence in health, the authors conclude that convergence targets for under-5 and HIV/AIDS mortality could be achieved by 2035 if trends from 2010-2016 continue. In contrast to this, if rates of decline of maternal mortality and tuberculosis continue trends from 2010-2016, convergence targets will not be reached until well after 2035.

This report calls for national governments to invest in health through five high-return priorities: improved drugs and vaccines for tuberculosis, pandemic preparedness, international support to non-communicable disease control programs, development of evidence base to improve health system quality and resilience, and provision of resources to the World Health Organization and other agencies to strengthen financial and legal capacity.

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