Rx for Child Survival

Section 2: Objections to Aid for Global Health

Objection 3: Better health means more people and fewer resources to go around, leading to greater political instability.

Many people argue, however quietly, that improved child survival rates lead to more people, and more people leads to greater poverty.

But there's evidence to suggest that the opposite may actually be true. Statistics compiled by the Commission on Macroeconomics and Health reveal that societies with a high child mortality rate also have a high fertility rate. Statistics also show a correlation between high child mortality rates and high population growth rates.

In fact, fertility rates tend to decline as health and economic conditions improve. This has been the case, not only in the developed world, but also in developing countries that have seen some economic improvement, such as Bangladesh. There, the total fertility rate fell from 6.6 per woman in 1975 to 3.1 in 2000.