When Good News is Not So Good

February 7, 2019 | Festival Boca

“For the first time in recorded history,” says Thomas Bollyky, “parasites, viruses, bacteria, and other infectious diseases are not the leading cause of death and disability in any region of the world.” 
 
But the news is not all good: the extraordinary progress being made in overcoming the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that were pervasive in poor societies has not been accompanied by the same advances in infrastructure, job opportunities, and governance that have attended health improvements in the past.

This means that the byproducts of better health — a growing young work force, less-deadly cities, and a shift in countries' health needs to adults — have become potential risks instead of the drivers of prosperity and inclusion that they should be. 
 
For improved health to lead to broader progress, it must be embedded in a larger development strategy, including investment in quality health-care and education systems, making cities more livable, and family planning and reproductive health care.

All of this is the subject of Bollyky’s new book, Plagues and the Paradox of Progress: Why the World is Getting Healthier in Worrisome Ways, which he will be discussing as part of the Panel on Global Health at Festival Boca on Monday, March 4, at 7 pm in the Cultural Arts Center. The panel will also include Dr. Agnes Binagwaho and be moderated by Dr. Felicia Knaul, Director, Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas and Professor, Miller School of Medicine. Boca Raton Regional Hospital President and CEO Jerry Fedele will introduce the panel.

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