WHO priorities 2019

The 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.

9/10 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.


Non-communicable diseases.

These 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.

Every 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 ongoing need.


Fragile and vulnerable settings.

Many 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.


Antimicrobial resistance.

The 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.

Ebola 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.

Primary 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.


Many countries do not have such adequate primary healthcare facilities and WHO will work with partners to strengthen primary healthcare in such countries during 2019.


Vaccine hesitancy.

Vaccination 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 control.


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.



The Cost of Flu to the Economy

Many people do not consider flu to be a very serious viral infection. This misunderstands the illness because it is often controlled by home-made remedies and over the counter drugs.

These are the main reasons why large numbers of people do not take the vaccination against the flu. However, flu can be a very illness leading to many days in bed and even loss of life. In business terms it can cost billions. The countries that experience wet, cold winters are the most affected by the occurrence and spread of flu among their populations. 

Flu and the economy

Absenteeism is causes major losses to industry and commerce each year. Even though flu is easy to treat and lasts for a relatively short period, extreme flu cases can be serious and could even be deadly.

Many people are susceptible to catching a flu especially through interaction with infected people. One of the reasons id that not everyone is prepared to have the flu vaccination each year.

There is a school of thought that believes the flu vaccination offers less than a 50% protection because the nature of the virus changes year on year. Exposure to people with the infection is the only way to catch flu – it is a common misconception that flu can be caused by exposure to cold.

The virus is often confused for a cold because the two share most of the symptoms. The virus is however more dangerous because it is debilitating and can lead to other infections and even pneumonia. These further infections lead to increased time off work while recovery takes place.

Effects of absenteeism

Losing employees through illness can have an adverse effect your business or your employers business.

• Absenteeism can negatively affect the overall performance of the business and loss of business opportunities. When employees are absent through illness their colleagues are required to put in extra effort and longer hours. Potentially this leads to loss of efficiency, effectiveness and even loss of customers.

• Absenteeism due to flu may require businesses to pay extra for the increased number of hours the other workers are putting in. The employer may also be required to pay temporary staff as replacements as a result of absences


The flu virus leads to billions of losses to the world economy every year. This is due to absenteeism of workforce and the related effects of absenteeism. It is important that people, especially those that experience cold and wet winter seasons, to take the vaccinations against the virus in order to reduce the losses made annually.

Reducing absenteeism at your place of work or in your business will improve the health of your business. 

Mayfair, we care.

References; https://www.forbes.com