Education and Health in Developing Countries: Which Comes First?

By Helen Bradley and Zaniah Marshallsay.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

In countries where health is poor, education is also an issue. Which of these should governments prioritise? The evidence shows that education is a catalyst to the improvement of health and a healthy educated population results in improved economic production. In particular, educating mothers improves the health of their children and hence overall population health. Evidence from the literature supports the proposition that to educate a woman is to educate her family. Those countries limiting the education of women struggle with the issues of poverty through poor health causing low education, disadvantage and unemployment. Resultant poverty can be transmitted from generation to generation, developing a spiral of weaknesses caused through malnutrition and stress. In such populations, there are often efforts to provide improved access to health services. However, such action is only a ‘bandaid’ to improving health in the long term.

Keywords: Population Health, Women and Education

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 1, Issue 5, pp.63-68. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 566.335KB).

Helen Bradley

Senior Lecturer, Division of Health Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Helen is a Senior Lecturer within the Division of Health Sciences of the University of South Australia. Her research is broad covering both Australian Aboriginal and international health. Helen has worked with the World Health Organisation in Jakarta, the Indonesian Ministry of Health, NGO’s in Timor Leste and disadvantaged groups in Laos and the Philippines. She was also the Chief Investigator for research into children’s health in rural and remote South Australia. Because of her experiences, Helen has a broad perspective of health and a wide range of skills in evaluation and research techniques. As a PhD candidate, her focus is on population health and the social determinants of health.

Dr. Zaniah Marshallsay

Lecturer, Division of Education Arts and Social Sciences, University of South Australia, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Dr. Zaniah Marshallsay teaches in the School of International Studies of the University of South Australia, at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels. Prior to 1995 she taught at Monash University where she lectured in the Malay Language and Malaysian Studies in the Department of Asian Languages and Studies. She was also Foundation Director of the Centre of Malaysian Studies, Monash University. Her research interests and activities are in the areas of Islam in the contemporary world, education and development, gender and development with a particular focus on Southeast Asian countries.


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