What are the key health issues and challenges in Asia and the Pacific?

Large proportion of health expenditure in the region comes from out-of-pocket expenditure which has implications on poverty. Health financing systems in the region need to be more equitable and efficient.

Improving sector management, quality of care, affordability of care for the poor, and social protection against catastrophic illnesses are some of the key challenges.

With changes in disease patterns, why continue to focus on infectious diseases?

Even where the burden of infectious diseases is low, this requires ongoing investment to keep it low. Besides, infectious diseases can cause epidemics and mostly affect the poor. Preventing infections like HIV saves huge future spending on treatment. While demand for curative services is outpacing supply, insufficient effort is being made in prevention of diseases.

Will Asia and the Pacific achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)?

Progress towards MDGs is mixed. In particular child malnutrition and maternal mortality remain off track. Progress is held back by growing inequity in terms of access to services, as well as substandard quality of care and adverse incentives for preventive, promotive, and life-saving work.

Is investing in health cost-beneficial, what are the returns?

Good health care has multiple benefits including better learning, child care, and productivity. Improving quality and transparency of care also reduces wasting of household resources on poor treatment, a major factor of poverty.

How does Strategy 2020 link to Primary Health Care for the Poor?

Strategy 2020 recognizes health as one of the key development challenges in the region. Strategy 2020 envisages ADB's work in the health sector in line with its comparative advantages, financing needs, and demand from countries. Strategy 2020 emphasizes the role of partnership in enhancing access to health care for the poor.

What is ADB's future role in the health sector?

ADB's role in the health sector is outlined in the Operational Plan.

What do we know about health impacts of infrastructure projects?

ADB has been spearheading the work on HIV prevention in the transport sector in partnership with ministries of transport and national AIDS councils across the region. Specific tools and methodologies* have been developed to facilitate the work). Health impacts of traffic related air pollution and road safety are also being systematic addressed in projects and the dialogue with clients.

What do we know of impact of climate change on health?

ADB has supported a study that highlights the main threats to health posed by climate change. The study also points out ADB's comparative advantage in addressing climate change and health.

Will ADB support private sector development in health?

The public-private partnership in the health sector is one of the key elements of the Operational Plan.

What is the role of the Health Community of Practice?

The Health COP provides a resource base and "home-base" for experts working in health, and undertakes advocacy, leadership, and knowledge management.