We have just published our new economic analysis on women and childrenâ€™s health, part of the upcoming topic on Health.
How can we improve womenâ€™s health and save more than 14m children from dying before 2030?
Turns out that if we focus on a target to reduce newborn mortality by 70%, we can by 2030 prevent 2m child deaths per year. Over the next 15 years this means saving about 14 million children. This will involve providing expecting mothers with nutrients and protection from disease, having nurses and clean facilities at birth, and then ensuring best practice child care techniques immediately after, such as â€˜kangaroo careâ€™. Overall the benefits are $9 for every dollar spent, though the costs are substantial at $14 billion per year.
We can also diminish the lifetime risk of cervical cancer by 40% in developing countries, by providing human papillomavirus vaccination (HPV) to young girls. This will lead to 270,000 fewer deaths for every cohort vaccinated. Recent agreements to provide the HPV vaccination at very reduced prices in developing countries makes this outcome more achievable and cost effective, at $400m per year and returning $3 for every dollar spent.
Whatâ€™s the smartest target?
As reported by TIME.com and newspapers all over Latin America, e.g. Milenio (Mexico) and La Prensa (Panama), the best bang-for-the-buck provision is still to provide universal access to sexual and reproductive health services and eliminating the unmet need for contraception. It will result in 640,000 fewer newborn deaths, 150,000 fewer maternal deaths and 600,000 fewer children who lose their mother. At the same time, societies will enjoy a demographic dividend, with few dependents and many in the work force, driving faster economic growth. The costs will be about $3.6 billion/year, but the benefits will be more than $400 billion annually. In total, each dollar spent will do $120 of benefits.
Women's and Children's Health
Annual Benefit ($BN)
Annual Cost ($BN)
Benefit For Every Dollar Spent
Universal access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services by 2030 AND eliminate unmet need for modern contraception by 2040.
Reduce neo-natal (0-27 days) mortality by 70% (2013-2030).
Avoid 3 million deaths from cervical cancer in developing countries.
You can read the papers at www.post2015consensus.com/health-women-children
Here, we present the early release perspective papers for our upcoming research focused on Health.
Dara Lee Luca, Elizabeth Mitgang, Alyssa Shiraishi Lubet, David E. Bloom (Harvard School of Public Health), Johanne Helene Iversen, Kristine HusÃ¸y Onarheim (University of Bergen) and Klaus Prettner (Vienna University of Technology) contribute a perspective paper on womenâ€™s health.
GÃ¼nther Fink, Associate Professor of International Health Economics, Department of Global Health and Population at Harvard School of Public Health contributes a perspective paper on infant mortality.
PhD and Adjunct Professor
President of Copenhagen Consensus Center
PS. The Post-2015 Consensus project brings together 60 teams of economists with NGOs, international agencies and businesses to identify the targets with the greatest benefit-to-cost ratio for the UN's post-2015 development goals. If you have questions about the project, send an email to Research Project Manager Brad Wong by replying to this email.