In January 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a list of top 10 potential threats to global health.
- Air pollution and climate change: About nine out of every ten people inhale contaminated air every day. Air pollution leads to climatic changes because of fossil fuel burning. The origin of fuel is from the fossils; that is why they have very high carbon content. The minute particles in air irritate the mucous lining of the body leading to respiratory and circulatory system damage.
- Non-communicable diseases: The diseases that are not contagious and do not transmit from one person to another. They include heart diseases, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, etc. These are responsible for about 70% of deaths worldwide. There had been a rise in these diseases in past years, and the risk factors are tobacco and alcohol use, sedentary lifestyle, and air pollution.
- Global influenza Pandemic: It is expected that the World might experience a massive outbreak of Influenza anytime soon. The flu vaccines are renewed almost every year with new strains. Many countries, along with WHO is tracking the spread of Influenza worldwide and are planning to take adequate measures to fight or prevent this upcoming pandemic.
- Fragile and vulnerable settings: These include areas with extreme crisis conditions like drought or conflict. Due to these issues, the settings have weakened healthcare systems. They are unable to meet the set targets of health due to the ongoing crisis. WHO is always working to provide better health and immunization techniques in these areas.
- Antimicrobial Resistance: While we moved in the 21st century and developed several therapies, vaccines, and medicines to fight deadly diseases, antimicrobial resistance showed up. It is due to the overuse of antimicrobial agents like antibiotics, antivirals, and antifungals. Now again, the world is facing difficulty in treating simpler diseases. The global action plan will be implemented worldwide to create awareness and increase the rational use of these medications.
- Ebola and high-threat pathogens: In 2018, The Democratic Republic of Congo experienced two Ebola outbreaks that spread to other cities. The WHO is working on identifying the agents that could be a risk factor for causing these emergencies.
- Weak primary care: The primary healthcare system is the least and easily accessible way that should be available to all of the worlds’ population. Many countries lack this basic system, which is usually the first point of contact between people and the healthcare system. WHO is taking measures to develop, strengthen, and revive these facilities in lacking areas.
- Vaccine hesitancy: Many countries, while having adequate vaccines, face the refusal of administering these due to lack of awareness, and inaccessibility of vaccines. It made the eradication of diseases like polio and measles difficult. The countries which were close to the elimination of these diseases faced the vaccine hesitancy.
- Dengue fever: It is a disease caused by mosquito bites, which can be lethal. It has spread drastically over the past few years. Most common in rainy seasons. The death rate in Asian countries like India and Bangladesh had been very high. Strategies are made by WHO to prevent and decrease deaths by dengue.
- HIV: Human Immunodeficiency Virus destroys cells in large amounts resulting in a weakened immune system. Though the progress made on HIV is amazingly appreciable, from testing people for the infection to treating them with antiretroviral agents, it is still an epidemic in many regions. Millions of people die every year due to HIV/AIDS. Self-testing services are in plan to make people assess themselves for the virus.
Until Next Time,
Team Doctor ASKY!