An infographic has been making the rounds lately, purporting to depict the amount of money donated to help fight various diseases versus the number of actual deaths caused by each disease. This is the original infographic:
Many concerns have been raised regarding its content and presentation, see for example this post by Phil Price. Thankfully, the folks at Cool Infographics took it upon themselves to correct some of the issues, and they’ve generated several new infographics that address many of the problems of the original. Below is my favorite one:
One remaining problem however is that these infographics only depict the donations made to specific organizations, making it difficult to get a sense of the total spending on each disease. Fortunately the NIH makes this data available, in terms of NIH dollars. I generated a new infographic to present this information for most of the diseases in the original visualization.
As you can see the new infographic is not as provocative as the original. I had to leave out HIV because the way NIH computes HIV numbers makes it impossible to compare to other diseases. They also happen to not have a single category for Motor Neuron Diseases.
Having said all this, I do think the spirit of the original message–that our spending is not commensurate with the (global) toll of various diseases–is a sound one.