“A healthy population is a pre-requisite for successful development” this was the conclusion that John Strauss and Duncan Thomas came to in their study “health, nutrition and economic development”, 1998.
Increased productivity is an indicator of economic growth and this can be achieved through greater investment in labor and capital. However, investment in capital can only be fully utilised if there is a healthy and educated workforce available in the economy. Thus, health and education both play a vital role in improving productivity and economic growth. Due to their dual role are both inputs and outputs they have a central role in economic development.
There is a desperate need to raise both health and education standards in Pakistan including its availability. Good health not only gives a longer life span but it help in raising return to investments in education, as a healthy educated persons work adds to the productivity of the economy. Education will also raise awareness about basic sanitation and hygiene and lower the chances of an individual getting ill.
It has been found that the probability of attending school among nutritionally stunted children in Nepal is only 5 per cent whereas this rises to 27 per cent for non-stunted students. Undernourished children were found to lag 20 per cent in test scores in Northern Brazil, one of the worst poverty hit areas of Latin America. Therefore to improve the effectiveness of schooling the health standards for children need to be improved in developing countries such as Pakistan.
In the 2000 world health report, the World Health Organisation (WHO) concluded that “the ultimate responsibility for the performance of a country’s health lies with government”. The government while settings its economic policies should view workforce as human capital and should invest in human capital as only investment in this can raise productivity.
The state of education in Pakistan is in shambles. Pakistan is the...