Health for a price

Published: Wednesday 15 July 1998

the World Health Organisation's (who) plans to eliminate seven major diseases may require more than us $7.5 billion, which the agency has budgeted. Some us officials claim that the programme could even soak up money from other programmes, harming public health.

The who targets to eradicate diseases such as lymphatic filariasis, guinea worm disease, polio, leprosy, measles, river blindness and Chagas' disease. However, the General Accounting Office (gao), the investigate arm of the us Congress, has doubts about other who plans such as its goal of eliminating lymphatic filariasis, or elephantiasis, by the year 2030 at a cost of us $228 million. According to Ben Nelson, a gao official, data underlying the cost and the time-frame estimates are incomplete.

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