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CRITERION: Explain the influence of altruistic organizations on health and health care practices associated with a global health care issue.

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Describes the role of altruistic organizations with regard to health and health care practices, but does not associate it to a global health care issue.

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Faculty Comments:

You need to define the role of an altruistic organization, name specific organizations dedicated to the prevention of communicable diseases and consider the outcome of being without the organizations.




Capella University

December, 2018



Communicable Diseases

Just about a billion people were living below the poverty line by the year 2013, a fact that has had a far-reaching effect on global health, with each year millions of these people suffering and dying from preventable communicable diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and diarrhea. The suffering associated with these diseases that mainly affected poor people are easily avoidable but somewhat neglected as evidenced by the fact that OECD development assistance committee members are spending 0.31% of their GNI on foreign aid (Smith, 2015). The profile inspires the focus on global health and development to weed out skepticism on the influence on longer-term world future. The rule of thumb for heuristics has been used in this paper to focus attention on essential problems neglected by others and evidence-based interventions. Quantitative estimates have also been utilized to look into the studies which estimate the interventional cost-effectiveness using empirical data from randomized control trials.

10.7% of the global population lives on an average $2.00 a day, the minimum income level needed to meet the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, and HealthCare. The cost of healthcare is where the global poverty impacts on the most as a significant portion of these portion of the world population suffers and dies from preventable infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and others that are treatable worldwide. The average damage attributed to these diseases in the developing nations are estimated to be between 200 and 500 million disability-adjusted life years, a healthy life yearly measure(Fiszbein, Kanbur & Yemtsov, 2014).

There are many evidence-based ways of reducing the prevalence of these diseases which are connected to the reduction of poverty.  Global poverty is one of the most significant problems the planet is facing but is relatively tractable if the global focus is laid on immediate health costs and quality of life. Malaria is prevented by distribution and issuing of insecticide-treated bed nets. Tuberculosis is controlled and treated using a course of drugs used over 6 to 9 months. Diarrhea is prevented through better sanitation and treated with oral rehydration therapy, and parasitic diseases are treated and controlled using a pill cheaply accessible at the cost below $1. Millions of global lives have been saved using these techniques over the last 60 years, giving them credence to make progress in the way forward to improving global health.

Many organizations and individuals worldwide are aware of the state of global poverty, but unfortunately, the amount of funding directed to ameliorate the situation by poverty alleviation remains relatively small in comparison with the finding direct to many other developed countries’ priorities. The United Kingdom government uses only 0.7% of the national income in foreign aid annually, which was $12.1 Billion in the year 2015 (Fosu, 2015). The government, however, spends three times as much on defense, taking up 3% of the national income. The individual donations to overseas aid also remain relatively small as characterized by the donations by the United kingdom citizens donating more to hospitals and hospices, religious charities, medical; research, children and young people charities as compared to the aid the donated to overseas aid and disaster relief. The United States also bears the same aid behaviors as the United Kingdom and Canada. The charities and foundations in the line of reducing communicable disease prevalence are in clear need for more funds. GiveWell, for example, needs over $50 million to fund its anti-malaria net distribution.


Evidence-based interventions

There is a gamut of success records in global health and development with measurable outcomes. One’s donation to the anti-malaria foundations, for example, is aimed at funding the distribution of bed nets that will save people at risk from contracting and dying from malaria. These efforts have potential gains in other cause areas but have less certainty on the actual benefit as there is an elusive tradeoff between a more definite impact and certainty and potentially larger impact. The analyses herein provide a strong initial case of global health and development as a crucial cause area that is large scale, tractable and relatively neglected as strongly backed by evidence.

Cost-effectiveness analysis

Analysis based on cost-effectiveness aim to quantify the results produced by a given amount of money. These analyses need the making of assumptions to simplify the process but form an essential part of the assessment of the impact that can be felt in the cause area. It is highly possible to save lives using health interventions in the developing countries at a lower cost than seen in the developing world.  The cost of eradicating smallpox, for example, is estimated at the cost of $1.6 billion. This cost break down reveals that it takes $25 to save one life since the cost saves up-to 60 million lives(Fiszbein, Kanbur & Yemtsov, 2014). This in comparison to developed countries such as the United Kingdom is cheaper as it spends tens of thousands of pounds to save a life for just a year.


The currently available health interventions are not as effective as they are supposed to be but are certainly very promising and cheaper. Many cost-effectiveness analyses reveal that saving an individual life in the developing world can take up to $5 compared to saving a life in the United States which takes between $900 and $7,000. The estimation of cost-effectiveness is based on subjective inputs based on results of high-quality randomized controlled trials that involve giving treatment to a fraction of the population, selected randomly, and the other half given a placebo or control treatment. The outcome measurement between two groups is done on any differences made by the treatments alone. The trails, therefore, give estimated that are not biased on the treatment impact. Global health interventions are in most cases based on RCTs than in any area. The distribution of bed nets to prevent malaria in studies and assessed in Cochrane reviews including Lengeler’s review that looks into more studies with a broader outcome ranges ending up with a statistically significant effect on mortalities per 1000 people yearly(Fiszbein, Kanbur & Yemtsov, 2014). RCT usage was employed in the impact of Give Directly unconditional cash transfers in developing countries and found out that the beneficiaries increased their asset value and other impacts including increased food security, female empowerment, revenue, and psychological well-being.


The results show that there is a great possibility of largely impacting on global health and development due to many reasons. One of the reasons is the fact that global poverty is soaring in large scale and affects millions of people and in the process along their lifetimes reduce their lives qualities. Another reason is the fact that many problems come with poverty especially healthy, where its impacts are highly tractable since many diseases can be treated cheaply and easily. The global poverty is neglected and disregarded regardless of its growing scale worldwide and the evidence around it strongly compare to the interventions in other cause areas and the interventions remain cost-effective.

The global health has been neglected for a number of reasons and concerns as a cause area. The most common concern is the fact that developed nations consider the help they channel to the developing world poverty eradication is a case of wasted money and effort. These concerns are not evidence-based as there is a lot of progress made by the help of foreign aid that has been achieved in the last sixty years. Most monies that have been channeled to developing nation’s poverty eradication have had a tremendous impact as the greater parts of them have been well spent. There are so many lives that have been saved by the proceeds from foreign aid as evidenced by conservative estimates. The eradication of malaria, for example, have had remarkable progress as more than 10 million lives have been saved across the developing world that would have been claimed by these diseases considering their lethality (Fiszbein, Kanbur & Yemtsov, 2014).The healthcare decisions taken at a local level determine the global course of the healthcare, a real world example was the outbreak of Zika in Africa in 2015, little or no healthcare actions were taken at that time, the consequences of this situation drove the current outbreaks of the disease worldwide, on the other hand, in our country during the outbreak of the disease in 2016 the CDC activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and local healthcare decisions were taken to eradicate this condition, currently there is a worldwide movement that incorporate several institutions fighting the disease, although still there are some limited outbreaks, the disease has been under control.

Apart from smallpox and malaria, poverty has been greatly reduced by the little aid directed to eradicate it. The use of mosquito nets, indoor spraying and medicine have had a significant effect on disease reduction and annual deaths between the year 2010 and 2015. The deaths attributed to diarrhea have also been tremendously reduced by oral rehydration therapy to half a million today from 4.6 million in the 1980s (Fiszbein, Kanbur & Yemtsov, 2014). Charity, on the other hand, has been focused on the areas around the donors. Charities provide additional resources in the eradication of poverty and communicable diseases in the developing world. The developing counties are faced by lack of resources and the problems faced in these areas have been experienced and handled on the developed world which now has higher education and health levels. It improves the quality of life of a person by helping them not to contract the deadly or debilitating disease. It is arguable firm the results that a dollar is 100 times worth more to a poor person in developing counties than in rich countries(Fiszbein, Kanbur & Yemtsov, 2014). This is based on the report that annual consumption of a person living on a median income in the United States is approximately 100 times that of a person living in extreme poverty in developing countries.


It is imperative and plausible that systemic changes be furthered to solve the problem of poverty and its accompanying communicable diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and others.  It is advisable to further these systemic changes by short-term plans led and implemented by the affected people given the position to improve their futures.  It is therefore important that humanity focuses on its long-term future by helping eradicate poverty in developing nations rather than employing altruism to problems eating away its future, hopes, and capabilities. The perception on wastage of money and effort and the charity-begins-at-home mentality that hinder wealthier individuals from helping out in the reduction of global poverty and communicable diseases should be eliminated.



Fiszbein, A., Kanbur, R., & Yemtsov, R. (2014). Social protection and poverty reduction: global patterns and some targets. World Development61, 167-177.

Fosu, A. K. (2015). Growth, inequality and poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa: recent progress in a global context. Oxford Development Studies43(1), 44-59.

Smith, S. C. (2015). Ending global poverty: A guide to what works. St. Martin’s Press.


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