By the late 1990s, studying developing country needs, the Global Forum for Health Research adopted the term “the 10/90 gap” to call attention to the fact that less than 10% of the worldwide resources devoted to health were put towards health in developing countries, where more than 90% of all preventable infectious disease deaths occurred.
In the last century, access to antibiotics, clean water and improved sanitation became powerful weapons in preventing infectious disease. A real challenge now is to protect the effectiveness of antibiotics, through a global programme to fight antimicrobial resistance.
In recent decades, the world has seen a rise in noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease. Driven by forces such as rapid unplanned urbanisation, globalisation of unhealthy lifestyles and population ageing, these diseases now account for 70% of all deaths.
Within year four of the implementation of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) covering social and economic development issues, policy-makers, the private sector, academia and non-profit organisations worldwide must realise that more urgent and coordinated actions are necessary to tackle the most pressing communicable and non-communicable diseases in the 21st century to ensure better health for all. The G20 Health and Development Partnership, with more than 1000 cross-sectorial collaborators, provides a unique platform to advocate and promote the need for a concerted action of the G20 nations to ensure better health for all.