- Q: How does preventing disease contribute to stable governance?
- A: Diseases such as HIV/AIDS can rob societies of their most productive workers, educated professionals, and political leaders, undermining economic growth and worsening social tensions. Children who lose their parent(s) to AIDS are more vulnerable to exploitation, school teachers infected with HIV cannot teach effectively, and soldiers with HIV/AIDS may not be able to protect their countries.
World Bank: Disease Is a Preventable Cause of Poverty
A staggering 99% of people who die from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) live in the developing world. Though new HIV infections are declining and the number of people receiving antiretroviral treatment is growing, 34 million people are still living with HIV/AIDS. The center of the epidemic is sub-Saharan Africa, home to 70% of all new infections among adults and 91% of new infections among children. Malaria kills about 780,000 people each year, imposing a huge toll on African economies and households. Economists believe that malaria is responsible for a growth penalty of up to 1.3% in some African countries, severely restraining economic growth in the region. The number of global TB cases has been falling since 2006, but in 2010, there were 8.8 million cases. About 13% of these occur among people living with HIV.
- Effective prevention, care, and sustainable treatment includes:
- Promoting safer sexual behavior, male circumcision, and providing treatment for HIV prevention
- Promoting use of long-lasting, insecticide-treated nets to combat malaria
- Increasing access to efficacious anti-malaria medicines
- Improving housing conditions, TB screening of HIV-positive persons, and Directly Observed Treatment Short Course (DOTS) therapy for TB.
Making Strides in Combating Disease
As a result of support from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, 2 million adults and children with HIV received antiretroviral combination therapy, and more than 57 million malaria nets were purchased and/or distributed in sub-Saharan Africa, from 2005 to mid-2011.
Our Strategy to Help Countries Combat Disease
- Support countries to scale up health interventions
- Develop stronger national health systems
- Ensure disease prevention is integrated into maternal and child health programs
- Protect the poor from health risks and financial shocks
MDG 6 Results
IDA is helping to achieve MDG 6 by providing prevention, care, and mitigation services for those affected by infectious disease.
- India: Condom use increased from 59% to 84% among female sex workers—the main driver of India’s epidemic—between 2001 and 2009, and the number of Indian states that reached the global targets for cure and case detection of TB when from 8 to 20 (out of 28).
- Ethiopia: In 2010, 90% of children under 5 slept under insecticide-treated bed nets, compared to 5% in 2003.
- Zambia: Annual malaria deaths decreased by 50% from 2000 to 2008, contributing to a reduction in under-five deaths of 29% and in infant mortality of 26% (between 2000 and 2007).
- Eritrea: Detection of new smear-positive TB cases increased from 41% in 2005 to 70% in 2010.
How’s the World Doing?
- 1.8 million people lost their lives due to AIDS-related illnesses in 2010.
- 6.6 million people in low- and middle-income countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy as of 2010.
- 1 million children's lives have been saved in Sub-Saharan Africa in the past decade, due to investment in malaria control.
- 39% drop in TB mortality among HIV negative people between 1990 and 2009, due to TB control efforts.