This is the state of the world’s health, in numbers

WHO Statistics 2018

World health statistics 2018: monitoring health for the SDGs, sustainable development goals. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

This article is brought to you thanks to the strategic cooperation of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Adam Jezard, Formative Content

While the world is making strides towards achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a new report warns more action is urgently needed if ambitious health targets are to be met.

The SDGs are aimed at redressing global inequalities such as poverty, hunger, health, climate change, gender equality and social injustice by 2030. They were agreed by 193 members of the UN General Assembly in 2015.

But Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization’s Director-General, writing in the report’s introduction, says there is still much to do before 2030.

“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.”

Meanwhile, Jeffrey Sachs, the American economist and author, speaking at the 2018 World Government Summit in Dubai, also said more needed to be done. Sachs, whose books include The Age of Sustainable Development, said that, to implement the SDGs, the goals needed to be financed and measured effectively.

One of the functions of the WHO’s World Health Statistics reports is to monitor and report on the success of the SDGs.

Here are some numbers from the 2018 report that provide a snapshot of the state of global health today.

15,000

In the report, Tedros gives some examples of areas that need improvement.

“Under-five mortality has improved dramatically – yet each and every day in 2016, 15,000 children died before reaching their fifth birthday.”

Image: World Health Organization/World Health Statistics 2018

He added: “After unprecedented global gains in malaria control, progress has stalled because of a range of challenges, including a lack of sustainable and predictable funding.”

18%

The probability of dying from diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and chronic lung disease between ages 30 and 70 dropped four percentage points, to 18% in 2016 down from 22% in 2000.

Adults in low and lower-middle-income countries faced the highest risks – almost double the rate for those in high-income countries. However, the total number of deaths from non-communicable diseases is increasing due to population growth and ageing.

303,000

A lack of skilled personnel is hampering the reduction of deaths of new mothers, particularly in poorer nations. In 2015, an estimated 303,000 women died due to complications in pregnancy or childbirth: 99% of these deaths were in low- and middle-income countries.

9 out 10

Meeting cleaner air targets is also a struggle. More than half of the urban population was exposed to outdoor air pollution levels of at least 2.5 times above the safety standard set by the WHO, while estimates show nine out of 10 people worldwide breathe polluted air.

97 million

Perhaps most crucially, the goal of achieving universal health care for all is still some way off.

At least half of the global population do not have full coverage for essential health services.

In 2010, some 808 million people – 11.7% of the world’s population – spent at least 10% of their household income paying for health services, the report says.

An estimated 97 million people were impoverished by out-of-pocket healthcare spending in 2010.

Image: OECD/BCG analysis

But while effective finance is crucial to implementation of the SDGs, the amount of money each state pumps in may be of less relevance.

An article, co-authored by Emmanuel Akpakwu, Project Lead, Value in Healthcare at the World Economic Forum and Gabriel Seidman of Boston Consulting Group, points out: “Norway spends three times as much per person on health as Greece, but both countries have about the same (health-adjusted) life expectancy.

“In a more extreme example, the US spends more than five times as much per person as Estonia, yet both countries have similar life expectancies.”

One reason for the disparities between objectives and attainments is that healthcare systems are little attuned to the actual quality of care or patient outcomes, the writers say. So hospitals try to maximize the volume of patients seen; health insurers aim to minimize costs; pharmaceutical businesses aim to make the most profits; and academics aim to publish more research. “As a result, the patient gets lost in the system.”

A call for better data

Here again, better data may hold the key to improved outcomes and services, Akpakwu and Seidman write. They suggest tracking and publicly reporting on standard sets of patient outcomes, experimenting with new service delivery systems and gathering evidence on which payment models best improve outcomes and reduce costs.

Meanwhile, the WHO report’s authors acknowledge Sach’s point that strengthening data collection is essential to achieving the SDGs: “The report helps us to understand where data or estimates are available and, conversely, where we lack insights.”

And Tedros says: “Maintaining the momentum towards the SDGs is only possible if countries have the political will and the capacity to prioritize regular, timely and reliable data collection to guide policy decisions and public health interventions.

“I care about outcomes and about accountability and I want to ensure that WHO, together with our partners, is doing all we can to get countries on track to reach the SDGs.”

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the European Sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

To my Chinese friend

Human rights chief calls for international probe on Venezuela, following ‘shocking accounts of extrajudicial killings’

An open letter from business to world leaders: “Be ambitious, and together we can address climate change”

THE COMMITTEES: From the colonies to the space race – past, present, future converge in Fourth Committee

Inegalitarian taxation on labour haunts Europe’s social model

Postal workers in France are helping elderly people fight loneliness

Eurozone banks to separate risky activities: Can they stay afloat?

Joint advocacy letter template to sign and ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear test ban treaty critical to global collective security – UN chief

Water supply a human right but Greeks to lose their functioning utilities

Lack of involvement, or lack of opportunities?

UN condemns deadly attack against G5 Sahel force headquarters in Mali

FROM THE FIELD: A UN peacekeepers-eye view of DR Congo

Libya: ‘Substantial civilian casualties’ in Derna, UN humanitarian chief ‘deeply concerned’

EU-Russia relations: the beginning of a warmer winter?

What can stop the ‘too big to fail’ bankers from terrorising the world?

The European Parliament double-checks the EU 2014-2020 budget

Job automation risks vary widely across different regions within countries

Want a more inclusive society? Start with mobility

New chapters in EU-China trade disputes

UN urges ‘restraint’ in Bangladesh’s post-presidential election violence

Why are the Balkans’ political leaders meeting in Geneva this week?

A Sting Exclusive: “China-Africa Cooperation Sets a Fine Example of South-South Cooperation”, by China’s Ambassador to EU

Why do medical students have to emigrate to become doctors in 2017?

Young people meet in Malta to shape the future of Europe

UN agency chief calls Ethiopia’s revised refugee law ‘one of most progressive’ in Africa

Draghi tells the Parliament the ECB to use all its weaponry; euro slides to parity with the dollar

Canada and EU officially sign the trade agreement that could open-up the road to TTIP

UN chief condemns deadly attacks in Afghanistan

These charts show where the world’s refugees came from in 2017 – and where they’re heading

Imported and EU fisheries products should be treated equally

Why we need both science and humanities for a Fourth Industrial Revolution education

Better care, stronger laws needed to save 30 million babies on the brink of death

Eating less beef and more beans would cut deaths by 5-7%

Commission goes less than mid-way on expensive euro

Is ECB helping Germany to buy cheaply the rest of Europe?

TTIP is not dead as of yet, the 15th round of negotiations in New York shouts

Can Greece’s devastating economy deal with the migration crisis?

Three ways the world must tackle mental health

EU lawmakers vote to reintroduce visas for Americans over “reciprocity principle”

“Access denied”: the Greek health system under pressure

UN chief condemns killing of ‘blue helmets’ in DR Congo, as violence erupts prior to elections

MWC 2016 LIVE: EC adds Brazil to partner tally

Some Prevailing Arguments and Perceptions over the South China Sea Issue Are Simply Wrong

The representatives of the regions and the cities know better what the EU needs on migration, trade, poverty and taxation

Climate Change: a challenge yet to be tackled in medical schools

A Sting Exclusive: “Seize the opportunity offered by Africa’s continental free trade area”, written by the Director General of UNIDO

Climate change will never be combatted by EU alone while some G20 countries keep procrastinating

Guinea-Bissau: Upcoming elections vital to prevent ‘relapse’ into instability, says UN envoy

This is the world’s greenest football club – and you’ve probably never even heard of it

EU to increase spending and improve delivery of education in emergencies and protracted crises

Deal on protecting workers from exposure to harmful substances

From diamonds to recycling: how blockchain can drive responsible and ethical businesses

“Health and environment first of all”, EU says with forced optimism after 7th round of TTIP talks

‘12 million’ stateless people globally, warns UNHCR chief in call to States for decisive action

Bid to raise $5.5 billion for millions of Syrians and their host communities

EU members commit to build an integrated gas market and finally cut dependency on Russia

The ECB still protects the banks at the expense of the EU taxpayers

The way to entrepreneurship in the developing world

A Europe that delivers: EU citizens expect more EU level action in future

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s