5 things you probably didn’t know about global health

obesity

(Unsplash, 2019)

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

Author: Charlotte Edmond, Formative Content


“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d druther not.” If only the answer to the world’s health concerns were as simple as Mark Twain quipped.

From eradicating polio to addressing antimicrobial resistance and providing universal health coverage, healthcare leaders will have a packed agenda when they meet for the 72nd World Health Assembly this week in Geneva.

As the world’s healthcare community gathers from the 20th to the 28th of May, here are five things you might not know about health challenges around the globe.

1. Obesity is a big problem

Most of us live in countries where obesity is a bigger cause of death than being underweight. About 13% of the world’s population was obese in 2016, despite the condition being largely preventable. And in many low- and middle-income countries, obesity and malnutrition exist side-by-side, sometimes within the same community or household.

2. Less wealthy nations are losing out

Almost $160 billion a year is spent on health research and development, according to a report from the Brookings Institution, but just a fraction of that goes to the developing world.

Creating medicines for a diverse range of tropical illnesses that primarily affect populations in very poor nations – a concept known as neglected disease R&D – is particularly underfunded.

The costs of drug development, combined with regulatory hurdles and governance challenges in some countries all contribute to lower investment for improving the health of patients in low- and middle-income nations.

Trends in the total annual number of US deaths caused by cardiovascular disease according to gender

Trends in the total annual number of US deaths caused by cardiovascular disease according to gender
Image: AHA Journals

3. The world’s biggest killer strikes more women than men

Cardiovascular disease is the biggest cause of death worldwide, but our understanding and treatment of it is almost entirely based on men. Although heart disease is more prevalent in men, a greater number of women are killed by it, studies have shown. Women are more likely to have symptoms different than the dominant male-based criteria for diagnoses, and so heart illness in women more frequently goes undetected.

Image: World Health Organization

 

4. Every 25 seconds, someone dies on our roads

Almost 4,000 people are killed on the world’s roads every day. More than half of these deaths happen to people with the least physical protection – motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. It’s especially a problem in India, which has the highest number of scooters, mopeds and motorcycles in the world.

5. Africa has access to a tiny proportion of the world’s healthcare workers

The global disease burden is heavily tilted towards Africa, but the continent only has access to 3% of the world’s health workers, and limited access to global financial resources. The distribution of medical professionals across the world is uneven, with many of the countries with the lowest disease burdens enjoying the largest health workforces. Relative to the size of its population, Cuba has the highest number of doctors worldwide.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

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

No more lead in PVC to protect public health, say MEPs

Macron’s Presidency: what the young generation’s expectations are

Teenagers’ career expectations narrowing to limited range of jobs, OECD PISA report finds

The Great Reset and digital trust: 3 lessons on digital tools from the COVID-19 crisis

The children’s continent: keeping up with Africa’s growth

Release of prize-winning Reuters journalists in Myanmar welcomed by UN

Clean air is good for business

Antarctica: the final coronavirus-free frontier. But will it stay that way?

Robot inventors are on the rise. But are they welcomed by the patent system?

This heroic doctor is waging war on rape and the stigma around it

Child victims of DRC Ebola outbreak need ‘special attention and care’: UNICEF

‘Mosques should be safe havens, not sites of terror’, says Guterres announcing UN plan to help safeguard religious sites

These are 2018’s stats of the year

Here’s how we can make innovation more inclusive

An electric motorbike could help tackle big game poaching. Here’s how

Big impact vs big exit: the social side of the start-up game presented at the WSA Global Congress in Vienna

3 charts that show how global carbon emissions hit a record high in 2018

What lessons to draw from the destruction of Syria

Draghi proposes timeframe for full Banking Union in five years

First-ever UN report on disability and development, illustrates inclusion gaps

Lack of investment and ambition means Youth Guarantee not reaching potential

FROM THE FIELD: Murals help heal wounds of bloody conflict in Guatemala

A new European banking space is born this year

Impressions of China

Parliament in favour of lifting visa requirements for Kosovars

‘Digital divide’ will worsen inequalities, without better global cooperation

This tool shows you which cities will flood as ice sheets melt

Coronavirus global response: EU Humanitarian Air Bridge to Iraq and new funding

Betazone: The Beauty of Inclusion

Eurozone closer to a deflation – stagnation trap

New volunteering programme for young people in Europe and beyond agreed

This US city sends mental health workers instead of police to non-criminal emergency calls

State aid: Commission approves €30 billion French subordinated loan scheme to support companies affected by the coronavirus outbreak

Financial services: Commission sets out its equivalence policy with non-EU countries

Employment and Social Developments in Europe: 2019 review highlights that tackling climate change can be a driver for growth and jobs

What could a no-deal Brexit mean for developing countries?

EU’s Mogherini visits Turkey “to step up engagement” and highlight interests

Would you let an AI vote for you?

How can we safeguard and improve the future of global health?

Global spotlight on world drug problem ‘is personal’ for many families, says UN chief

Veteran public official from Portugal elected to lead UN migration agency

Students & Allies Unite Globally To Launch #Students_Against_COVID

A new proposal breaks the stalemate over the Banking Union

Western Sahara: a ‘peaceful solution’ to conflict is possible, says UN envoy

The challenges of mental health: an inconvenient reality

5 times people predicted the future and got it really wrong

Renewed pressures on Berlin to adopt growth policies

What’s the latest on coronavirus antibody tests?

Mali peace process in a ‘critical phase’, says head of UN Mission

Roma integration: fight social exclusion, poverty and anti-gypsyism, MEPs demand

COVID-19 a year later: What have we learned?

Working Muslim women are a trillion-dollar market

India’s agro-food sector has made strong progress, but a new policy approach is needed to meet future challenges, says new report by OECD and ICRIER

How Bangladesh’s leaders should respond to the economic threats of COVID-19

How regenerative agroforestry could solve the climate crisis

Coronavirus Dashboard: EU Cohesion Policy response to the coronavirus crisis

First-ever EU defence industry fund to finance joint development of capabilities

Expanding the care for the quality of life and quality of death

‘Nothing left to go back for’: UN News hears extraordinary stories of loss, and survival as Mozambique rebuilds from deadly cyclones

This entrepreneur is helping farmers get food to consumers during lockdown

More Stings?

Advertising

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