World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced a number of issues that will
demand its attention during the course of this year. Many will not come as a
surprise to readers but others might.
Air-pollution and climate change.
people breath in polluted air every day and air-pollution Is considered by WHO
as the greatest environmental risk to health. Encouraging world leaders to take
the climate change issue seriously when self-interest is also an issue
continues to be a challenge.
are responsible for over 70% of all deaths worldwide and include illnesses such
as diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Over 85% of these premature deaths are
in the low to middle income countries and the rise of these diseases has been
driven by five major risk factors. These are tobacco, sedentary lifestyle,
alcohol, diet and pollution. All of which have been highlighted on this blog
and we will continue to do so.
Global flu pandemic.
year the world faces a flu pandemic. We don’t know when or where it will hit but
we know that it will hit hard somewhere in the world. Flu vaccines are
constantly being developed to protect people from seasonal flu because there
are many different strains, and combinations of flu strains and research is an
Fragile and vulnerable settings.
of the poorest countries in the world will suffer drought, famine, conflict,
and population displacement. They have weak health services which leave them
without access to basic care. WHO continue to be active in these areas.
overuse of antibiotics in both people and animals – especially those used for
food production, is creating drug resistance within the population. Taken to
its extreme, the inability to prevent infections could seriously compromise
surgery as well as procedures such as chemotherapy.
Ebola and other threats.
continues to be a threat and 2018 saw two separate outbreaks. WHO has
designated 2019 as a “year of action on preparing this for health emergencies“.
Weak primary healthcare.
healthcare is usually the first point of contact people have with the health
care system and ideally should provide comprehensive affordable community-based
care throughout life.
countries do not have such adequate primary healthcare facilities and WHO will
work with partners to strengthen primary healthcare in such countries during
is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease and it currently
prevents between 2m and 3m deaths a year. However, measles has seen a 30%
increase in cases globally due to vaccine hesitancy which, if such attitudes
develop, could see the return of diseases that were long thought to be under
These 8 issues will keep a very busy and important
organisation occupied in 2019 directing and coordinating health work where it
is most needed on an international stage.
Mayfair, we care.