Many of the world's poorest countries are stricken by diseases that are rare, if not non-existent in developed countries. For example, malaria, a disease almost completely eradicated in the developing world, kills over one million people a year in developing nations, and takes a huge toll on economic productivity, consistently forcing families into poverty.
The same is true for other diseases and ailments – from tuberculosis to hunger. When it comes to HIV/AIDS, 95% of all cases occur in the developing world – indeed, of the 20 countries with the lowest GDP per capita, seven are within the top 20 for HIV/AIDS prevalence rate as well.
There is simply no doubt about it: health and poverty are inextricably linked; and both have an affect on each other. Because of this, increasing health – whether through informational campaigns and prevention, through increased access to medication or through other means – is a sure way to reduce poverty.
Health, Wealth, AIDS and Poverty (PDF). 2002.
CIA World Factbook: Rank Order - GDP - per capita. 2006.
CIA World Factbook: Rank Order - HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate. 2006.
Global Health Council: Infectious Diseases. 2006.
Reuters: Six Diseases Cause 73 Percent of Child Deaths: WHO. 24 March 2005.