‘No shortcuts to a healthier world’: WHO chief sets out health priorities for the decade

© UNICEF/Saleh Bahless A health worker administers a vaccination against cholera on a young boy in Yemen.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

The head of the UN health agency, WHO, has set out his urgent global health challenges for the next ten years – designated the “Decade of Action” by the UN General Assembly” – and underscored the importance of investing in public health, in a statement released on Monday.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus wrote that the list of challenges is a response to concern that leaders are not committing sufficient resources to health, and are putting “lives, livelihoods and economies in jeopardy”.

Comparing health concerns with peace and security, Mr Ghebreyesus pointed out that many countries are willing to invest in protection against terrorist attacks, but not to allocate money to halting the spread of a virus, even though a pandemic may be far more deadly, and more economically damaging.

From climate to conflict: 13 challenges for the 2020s

The WHO identified 13 priorities for the decade, covering a wide range of issues affecting people across the planet. The climate crisis, for example, is also a health crisis, exacerbating malnutrition and fuelling the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria.

In addition, air pollution kills some seven million people every year. The agency is developing policy options to enable governments to prevent or reduce the health risks of air pollution.

People in rich countries live, on average, some 18 years longer than those in poorer countries. And, within countries, there is a big health discrepancy between the haves and have-nots. WHO will work to address inequality, providing guidance to countries on ways to make health care fairer.

The agency recommends that countries spend one per cent of their gross domestic product on primary health care, to give more people access to the quality essential services they need, close to where they live.
Other WHO priorities include expanding access to medicines, stopping infectious diseases, and protecting people from dangerous products. The full list of priorities can be found here.

‘Health security’

Because of the widespread impact that health issues have on development, Mr. Ghebreyesus said that health security should not be a matter for ministries of health alone, and called for more funding to address gaps in health systems, and support for the most vulnerable countries. “There are no shortcuts to a healthier world’, he said. “2030 is fast approaching, and we must hold our leaders accountable for their commitments”.

By the start of the next decade, nations of the world have pledged to reach the ambitious set of goals, at the core of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


the sting Milestone

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

Germany fears that Americans and Russians want to partition Europe again

Are Halloween pumpkins a problem for the planet?

ECB ready to counter the rise of the euro?

How microfinance develops decent work

North Korea: ‘Time to talk human rights’, says UN expert

Deutsche Bank again in the middle of the US-EU economic skirmishes

European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, who gets it and who pays the bill?

104 countries have laws that prevent women from working in some jobs

Anti-vaccine sentiment one of 10 biggest health threats, says WHO

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

FROM THE FIELD: Malawi farmers diversify to fight climate change

EU deal on electricity market rules to benefit both consumers and environment

When will Eurozone’s unemployment rate stop being Europe’s worst nightmare?

Strengthening security through an EU-wide information system

How tomorrow’s buildings will make you – and the planet – healthier

Here are what UNESCO considers to be remarkable new World Heritage Sites

Brazilian mountain farmers reap recognition, through UN heritage listing

G20: Less growth, more austerity for developing countries

Chart of the day: This is how many animals we eat each year

ECB asks for more subsidies to banks

Gender disparity in salary and promotion in medicine: still a long way to go

COP21 Breaking News_03 December: Europe’s children urge leaders to commit to climate action at UN Climate Summit in Paris

China dazzles the world with her Silk Road plan to connect, Asia, Europe and Africa

India is investing more money in solar power than coal for first time

How cities can lead the way in bridging the global housing gap

Two women threaten to tear the world apart

Trump ostracized by his party and world elites but still remains in course; how can he do it?

Afghanistan: UN condemns blasts that leave 8 dead at cricket stadium

The EU stops being soft with 10 Downing Street about Brexit

Fake news: What it is, and how to spot it

World Food Day: here’s what the UN is doing to fix ‘intolerable’ wrong of hunger

OK computer: why the machine age still needs humans

Coronavirus: Commission boosts budget for repatriation flights and rescEU stockpile

The Syrian knot cannot be cut without devastating consequences

US prosecutors now target Volkswagen’s top management, upsetting Germany

Slovakia and its failure to abide by the European law

In Tunisia, budding entrepreneurs can take a year off their job

Silk Road Unlimited

UN committed to helping Haiti build better future, says Guterres, marking 10-year anniversary of devastating earthquake

A Sting Exclusive: Paris Climate Change Summit, a defining moment for humanity, by Ulf Björnholm Head of UNEP Brussels

DR Congo: Ebola outbreak spreads to eastern ‘no-go’ zone surrounded by rebels

Boris to end up in jail if he loses the next elections?

Code of Practice against disinformation: Commission calls on signatories to intensify their efforts

Dutch voters reject EU-Ukraine partnership and open a new pandora’s box for the EU

It’s time to build a responsible media supply chain

This is the first ever photo of a black hole

European Commission launches infringement proceedings against the UK following its failure to name a candidate for EU Commissioner

Negotiations on new EU collective redress rules to begin

MEPs and European Youth Forum call on EU to Invest in Youth

5 reasons why reading books is good for you

UN chief ‘deeply alarmed’ over military offensive in south-west Syria

These 4 trends are shaping the future of your job

Global Citizen-Volunteer Internships

Fighting forest fires in Europe – how it works

Youth Entrepreneurship Issue of the month: JEN, organisers of JADE October Meeting, on why JEs should come together

Sea urchins are overwhelming parts of the ocean. Could turning them into sushi be the solution?

Digital transformation and the rise of the ‘superjob’

How can batteries become more sustainable? This young scientist might have the answer

Tusk fights back while charismatic Boris goes against everybody in Brussels pushing the UK to leave the EU now or never

‘Summon the spirit of San Francisco’, says General Assembly President on UN Charter anniversary

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