Summary of Findings

The Kaiser/Pew Global Health Survey, a unique new partnership between the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Pew Global Attitudes Project, examines how people around the world perceive and prioritize health in their countries and gauge the efforts of donor nations. As the report details, there is great variation in how health figures into people’s lives, and to what extent it is viewed as a problem for governments to address. Key findings from the 47-country survey include:

  • Public health priorities in low and middle income countries. Preventing and treating HIV/AIDS is the top-rated health priority in the countries surveyed in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Fighting hunger and malnutrition is the top priority among countries surveyed in Latin America and the Middle East. And access to health care is seen as the top priority in Central/Eastern Europe. Almost all low and middle income countries surveyed rate each health issue quite high. Majorities in 23 of 34 low and middle income countries say every one of the nine health issues asked about should be “one of the most important” for their government to address.
  • HIV/AIDS. Among “high prevalence countries” (defined here as those with an estimated HIV prevalence of 5% or more) and “next wave countries” (considered to be at earlier, but emerging, stages of their epidemics with large populations potentially at risk for HIV infection), large majorities say that HIV is a bigger problem now than it was five years ago, but there is also a strong sense of progress in terms of HIV prevention and treatment in most countries.
  • Foreign aid resonates with recipients. Majorities in nearly every country surveyed say wealthier countries are not doing enough to help poorer nations with problems such as economic development, reducing poverty, and improving health. But among countries surveyed that were major recipients of development aid, people were much more likely to say that wealthy nations are “doing enough” to help poorer nations. Among the countries most likely to say wealthy nations are doing enough are Indonesia and sub-Saharan African nations, which have been the focus of tsunami relief and efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, respectively. In addition, the survey shows substantial support among wealthier nations to do more to help poorer nations.