Health is the most significant determinant of well-being among developing country respondents in a recently published monograph by Dowling and Yap (2013). The book analyzes poverty and well-being in developing countries and reports a wide-ranging statistical analysis of the determinants of well-being in Africa, Asia and Latin America. The book draws on a database of surveys of respondents in these three regions conducted by the World Value Survey team over the past three decades. Drawing on this analysis, the current research explores the experience of developing countries in addressing the ongoing challenges of providing reliable and affordable healthcare. Particular reference is made to the contagious diseases of tuberculosis, malaria, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) and cholera, and related intestinal maladies such as diarrhea. In 2001, these four diseases accounted for the bulk of the disease burden facing developing countries, resulting in over 7.2 million fatalities each year (2.5 million from HIV/AIDS, 1.8 million from diarrheal diseases, 1.6 million from tuberculosis and 1.2 million from malaria) and countless years of suffering (Lopez et al., 2006). With the exception of HIV, the bulk of deaths were among infants and children under five years of age.


Life Expectancy Gross Domestic Product Infant Mortality Capita Income Health Expenditure 
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© John Malcolm Dowling and Chin-Fang Yap 2014

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