Tropical Diseases In Developing Countries

911 Words 4 Pages
Often, economists have skirted around the economic impact that geography plays for developing nations. For many of these countries, their location contributes to the prevalence of tropical diseases. In order to overcome this obstacle, a developing country should focus its efforts on expanding the nation’s healthcare infrastructure by constructing a network of accessible and affordable medical and emergency services and dedicating resources to the research and development of vaccines against common tropical diseases. By reducing the incidence of illness and sick leave in the work force, these projects will increase labor productivity and, therefore, promote research, investment, and capital, stimulating long-term economic growth.
In many developing
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In many instances, the developed nations who are able to fund these research projects choose not to invest in them. The very economic volatility that developing nations are trying to repair in their labor force and markets drives foreign investors away because of the associated risks (Frank, et al. 2015). Research is skewed away from “geographically-disadvantaged countries” because they are not seen as “commercially viable” endeavors (Hausmann 2001, 49) (Towse, et al. 2011, 20). Between the years of 1972 and 1997, only 13 of the 1,450 new chemical entities developed across the world were dedicated to “neglected” tropical diseases (Towse, et al. 2011, 20). How, then, can developing countries encourage the development of the vaccines they need the most? One effective solution involves implementing “push-and-pull mechanisms” for financing. Research grants or government-backed bonds from the government and nonprofit foundations given to companies upfront may “push” them to conduct more research for tropical diseases that they otherwise would have avoided. “Pull mechanisms” create incentives for firms to produce vaccines by promising future rewards and financial returns. Combined, these methods encourage research and development in a market where, currently, very little work is being conducted (Hecht, Wilson and Palriwala …show more content…
While opponents of infrastructural reforms will cite corruption as a main obstacle to any project, it is important to remember that the health benefits associated with an expanded healthcare infrastructure will produce a healthier population who—now free of personal health problems—are able to address corruption and institutional shortcomings. There is no use attempting to reform the rule of law, for example, if the population of a country is dropping dead from disease. Institutional reforms can work in tandem with infrastructural reforms insofar as the physical and economic health of the nation allows. The key for long-term growth in any developing country, then, rests with their ability to overcome the burden of diseases in order to produce a healthy and productive population that generates sufficient output and promotes research and development. Ultimately, the effects of these reforms will provide the capital necessary to address other impediments to economic

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