Health programs to battle polio and measles are chronically underfunded in many parts of the world, a problem that researchers have linked to rampant epidemics of the diseases, including a resurgence in Syria.
But there are signs of progress: Salaried health workers are training at least ten times more people than before — 30 million as of last year — according to the United Nations World Health Organization, which shares the distinction of receiving this year’s Nobel Peace Prize with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN for Global Health and Child Survival, Dr. Margaret Chan.
While some programs struggle to mobilize both doctors and volunteers on their own, the United States has been a global pioneer in the field. Its efforts haven’t always been perfect, but they’ve set a benchmark for other wealthy countries.
To read about the International Burden of Disease study, and the implications for health care efforts to combat these diseases, check out this SoundCloud playlist.