The health of people worldwide has not been improving and we could be on the brink of a crisis, a researcher from the University of Cape Town (UCT) believes.
Emeritus Professor Solomon Benatar, from UCT’s Department of Medicine, gave a public lecture at the South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO) this week on “The Crisis of Global Health”.
“Overall health of the world (population health) has not really improved and is threatened,” said Benatar.
Benatar explained there was a widening gap of wealth in the world that contributed to the problem as poorer nations couldn’t afford decent medical care.
“Population growth is one cause of the problem,” said Benatar, who added that wealth was being squeezed up to the top.
“Very little care is given to treating the population health,” said Benatar.
Benatar further explained that there was a lack of global health leadership which had made progress difficult.
Benatar was uncertain about the future, having said there would be more Zika-like viruses, because the sub-par living conditions in poorer countries allowed viruses to jump from animals to humans.
“Environmental degradation will also cause more health problems,” said Benatar.
Benatar added that there was no biological programming to guide us through these challenges.
“I’m sceptical we can change because of the complexity of the problems,” said Benatar.