2018 is almost over, so it is time to reflect upon the state of the health among different countries. The purpose of this report and its predecessors is to determine the state of health and health coverage worldwide and to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs. We are going to cover the progress, the decline, and the advice on how to improve the current situation. Here’s what the latest report by the World Health Organization says about health statistics for this year.
While there is a need to pay extreme attention to details and focus on repairing and further improving a number of areas of world health, there are three Sustainable Development Goals that are the top priority for WHO:
- Universal health coverage,
- Dealing with emergencies, and
- Healthier populations.
WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, wrote in the report’s foreword: “The story [The World Health Statistics series] tells is that while we have made remarkable progress on several fronts, huge challenges remain if we are to reach the targets for health we have set ourselves. In some areas, progress has stalled and the gains we have made could easily be lost.”
There are several areas that need drastic improvement, as the figures do not look promising. One such instance is the air quality. The numbers point out that nine out of ten people breathe in polluted air. The levels of air pollution the majority of people living in the cities are exposed to are 250% of the safety standard.
Additionally, developing countries are having difficulty in preventing young mothers from dying. Over 300 000 women have died during, or immediately after, giving birth in 2015. Most of these deaths occurred in Africa. Maternal deaths have globally decreased by 43% since 1990, but we still have a long way to go.
Diabetes, Cancer, and Other Non-Communicable Diseases
There were 1.6 million deaths from diabetes, including the post-operative death after lower extremities had to be removed. It is still one of the most underestimated and dangerous killers. People with middle and lower income are at the highest risk. Overall, the number of deaths that occur due to non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases keeps increasing globally. The reason behind that is attributed to aging and population growth.
Health coverage is still a big issue in the world, as, in 2010, about 97 million people struggled financially as a result of paying for their health coverage and treatment, with more than 10% of households spending the minimum of 10% of their income for health services. The disaster is further emphasized once you discover that more than half of the world population do not have health insurance that covers basic medical treatment.
How to Help
The WHO once again urged the world governments to take time and care when collecting data related to health statistics. Quality data is key in providing focus and services where they are needed most. Faulty data might shift the focus away from the areas that require immediate attention and taking care of.
On an individual level, those that wish to help the improvement of the global state of health should focus their efforts on volunteering or seeking employment in one of the numerous health organizations that bring medicine, water filters and supplies to areas in developing countries.