Despite significant progress in recent decades, global health issues—such as infectious diseases and lack of access to health care systems—still inflict immense suffering around the globe. This is especially true in the poorest parts of the world. If organizations in the public, private, and social sectors collaborate in new ways, they can make a bigger-than-ever impact on these challenges.
Epidemics and other global health threats affect individuals, families, and societies, and inflict costs that weaken the entire world economy. The numbers are staggering:
The CDC cites $12 billion is spent annually in direct costs related to malaria, with much more lost in economic growth.
In 2016 alone, 216 million people were infected with malaria, and 450,000 died. More than two-thirds of all malaria deaths are in children younger than five years old.
The 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa spread fast—with more than 26,000 suspected or confirmed cases recorded by May 2015.
Zika outbreaks have occurred in 69 countries, and evidence indicates that the virus is becoming endemic in many parts of the world.
The African continent has as much as 54% of the world’s communicable diseases—but only 2% of the world’s doctors.
Some 61% of the world’s citizens—4.5 billion people—lack access to safely managed sanitation, such as toilets.
As organizations in every sector rally to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, three new approaches can help them surmount these and other global health challenges:
These and other innovations could help make health care systems in lower income countries more efficient, effective, and adaptive by enabling them to leapfrog over long development timelines. By making these critical changes, emerging economies can thereby accomplish much more with much less.
Combating global health challenges will never be easy. But by forging new partnerships that leverage their diverse and complementary capabilities and embracing new technologies, organizations can come together to ease the widespread suffering caused by these health problems.
Six Ways to Speed Progress on the Health SDGs
To meet the UN’s health-related Sustainable Development Goals, NGOs and low-income countries will have to do two to four times as much with every dollar that they currently spend.
Tech Disruption Comes to Global Sanitation
The humble toilet is undergoing a transformation, unlocking a vast new opportunity—not just to capture value but also to change lives.
How Will Artificial Intelligence Change Health Around the Globe?
Four opportunity areas hint at the promise of AI in global health.
Managing the Risk and Impact of Future Epidemics
A report by the World Economic Forum, written with BCG, analyzes which aspects of the Ebola response worked well and where the effort fell short.
What the Ebola Crisis Can Teach Us About Zika
BCG’s Wendy Woods discusses one strategy we have learned from the Ebola crisis can help change Zika’s trajectory: balancing a people-centric approach with a virus-centric approach.
BCG collaborates with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to shift the world’s focus from controlling the disease to eradicating it.
Working closely with the World Health Organization, BCG supported the initial design of the Ebola response and developed a novel 30-60-90 day plan to get the epidemic under control.
BCG's Center for Health Care Value offers tailored solutions to organizations seeking to adopt value-based health care.
BCG's consultants and industry experts focusing on global health continue to partner with leading social organizations, corporations, nonprofits, and philanthropic bodies to arrive at solutions for epidemics and health care access. These are some of our experts on this topic.
Managing Director & Senior Partner, Paris and Nairobi
Managing Director & Partner
Managing Director & Partner