Advances in transportation, major changes in agricultural practices and the effects of a globalized economy in recent decades have provided many benefits but also resulted in health care concerns outreaching international borders. The list of global health issues continues to grow. And while global health professionals are constantly working towards improving health for all communities worldwide, making a positive impact in a short time is not easy. Continue reading this informative post to understand what global health is and then learn about some related challenges.
Global Health And Its Importance
Although there is no single definition, global health focuses on the health needs of the global population. It has a medical dimension but it is inseparable from other political, cultural and economic components. So, why global health is important? Global health is so imperative because the countries and economies around the world have become connected, and public health around the world is influenced by global health issues. As already described above, the increased global travel and global trading has proven to be beneficial but also come with many related issues. While it is understood that suffering from a non-communicable health issue like obesity is one of those pains of life, some serious health issues affect groups of individuals across the world. But, there is good news. A big thanks to the advances in health and medical practices progress is being made. Global health professionals are the ones to thank for this improvement.
Common Global Health Issues to Know About
There is no single list of global health issues, but listed below are some of the prominent ones to be aware of.
1. Non Communicable Diseases
Non-communicable diseases (NCDs), such as cancer, diabetes, strokes and chronic heart diseases account for over 70% of all deaths annually. The death chart includes fifteen million individuals dying prematurely, aged between 30 and 69. The rise of non-communicable diseases has been driven by a few risk factors including poor diets, tobacco use, excessive alcohol use, physical inactivity and high levels of air pollution. But, there is also a correlation between the prevalence of non-communicable diseases and income level. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) which is one of the most prominent agencies advancing public health worldwide- more than 85 % of these premature non-communicable diseases (NCDs) related deaths occur in the less wealthy countries ( low and middle-income countries).
2. Environmental Factors
Wondering how environmental factors can affect human health? In most cases, the right answer to this question lies in sanitation and water sources. According to the Health Organization, 9 out of 10 people across the world breathe polluted air every day. As a result, the damage leads to serious health issues such as cancer, lung and heart diseases that affect more than 6 billion people each year- around 90% of those people are from low and middle-income countries. Air pollution, storms, droughts and flooding make it easier for diseases to spread across large groups of people. Most of the air pollution occurs due to the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline, oil and coal, which further contributes to climate change- another threat to global health. One of the best solutions is to provide resources like sanitation technology and bottled water, but global health experts should also pay attention to the prevention of environmental challenges in the first place.
3. Inequality and Weak Primary Health Care Systems
As we all know that primary health care is the first point of contact individuals have with their health care system and ideally should meet all their health needs. It should provide affordable, community-based, and comprehensive care throughout the entire life. In most developed countries have developed primary health systems that are easily available to all patients. However, some countries, the low- or middle-income countries have less developed healthcare facilities and it makes it difficult for millions of individuals around the world to access quality health care. As a result, delays in receiving health care and lack of treatment facilities contribute to millions of premature deaths each year. To solve these challenges, countries across the world need to strengthen their health systems to provide affordable essential health services to people close to their premises.
4. Infectious Diseases And Pandemics
As already mentioned earlier, infectious diseases and pandemics do not respect national borders. For instance, infectious diseases such as covid-19 have put the entire world in a state of emergency. This global pandemic remains one of the leading causes of death globally. Thanks to the hard work of health researchers and scientists, vaccines have been timely developed. The vaccination is helping to curb the infection rate. Many other stubborn infectious diseases such as Ebola, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and influenza have caused the most deaths worldwide for decades.
The Final Note
Of course, these are not the only issues that will shape global health. Every year new global health issues take the entire world by surprise. Are we ready for it?