Threats to Global Health in 2019


We are constantly being under some kind of threat without even knowing it. There are a lot of challenges for people that are working on these issues. Without even mentioning some more serious diseases, some of the leading problems are physical inactivity and obesity. Another thing that has to be mentioned is environmental pollution and climate change.

A lot of people go to their doctor only when something serious happens and most of the problems could be prevented with just a simple visit from time to time. Having some health information can mean a lot to an ordinary person because it’s becoming more expensive to stay healthy. World Health Organization is making a strategic plan to stop these problems but it’s hard to manage if the majority of the people are not giving attention to it.

Climate Change and Air Pollution

Many studies have shown that 9 out of 10 people breathe polluted air. When we look on a large scale, it is considered as one of the biggest risks we are facing. The chemicals that are being transported through the air can penetrate circulatory and respiratory systems. This means that your brain, heart and lungs are being damaged every day which may lead to other diseases like cancer, lung disease and stroke.

Climate change is the direct cause of air pollution which impacts people in many ways. There is actually a study which says that there will be 250K deaths per year between 2030 and 2050 because of climate change. It will impact people through stress, malaria, malnutrition and other. Many organizations and countries made 70 commitments in 2018 to improve air quality.  Worming the world for 1°C is too much and we can expect that this century, it worms by 3°C.

Noncommunicable Diseases

Heart disease, cancer and diabetes are part of noncommunicable diseases and are responsible for over 60% of all deaths in the world, or 40 million people. Most of these people are aged between 30 and 70. The majority of these people live in middle or low-income countries, over 80%. The main factors that cause these issues are air pollution, unhealthy diets, alcohol, physical inactivity and tobacco use.

Another problem connected with these factors is mental health issues that start from an early age. It’s important to know that 50% of all mental illnesses start at the age of 14. It’s hard to detect a problem at that age which can lead to suicide which is the 2nd leading cause of death among teenagers. One of the things WHO will focus the most is reducing physical inactivity which may help a lot.

Influenza Pandemic

The problem with influenza pandemic is that we don’t know how severe it will be and when it will hit but it is expected. It’s hard to be effective here and the goal is to improve the response system and preparedness. World Health Organization is monitoring how influenza viruses are circulating. There is global surveillance that monitors 114 countries and 153 institutions. Strains that should be included in the flu vaccine are changed every year to prevent people from getting the flu. Another issue is that this costs a lot and most third world countries will be endangered.

Low-Quality Primary Health Care

The first contact people have with the health care system is through their primary care doctor. In most cases, that is the perfect opportunity to prevent a dangerous disease. Because it’s primary care, it should be community-based and affordable. There are strong systems in the world where primary care can cover most of the threats which can’t be said for poor countries.

Some middle-income countries have the same problem but it’s caused by problems with single disease programs that take a lot of health system income. They are trying to convince people that it’s important to visit your primary care doctor from time to time for preventive measures. Read more on this page.

Antimicrobial Resistance

Some of the greatest successes of modern medicine are the development of antimalarials, antivirals and antibiotics. After many years, these drugs won’t be so beneficial. Fungi, viruses, parasites and bacteria are resisting these medicines and the process is called antimicrobial resistance. It means that it won’t be easy to treat salmonellosis, gonorrhea, tuberculosis, pneumonia and other infections.

Every drug that you use you will build some resistance towards it unless you up the dosage but increase the dosage too much can be damaging. This doesn’t only apply for people but also to animals. The only way this can be prevented is to increase the knowledge and awareness among people which will reduce infection and encourage people to use drugs only when it is necessary.

Vulnerable Settings

Around 20% of the global population lives in places where the crisis is the main topic where bad health service is one of the biggest problems. These settings are in almost every part of the world and half of them are unmentioned when it comes to improving the overall global health. The reason why it is like that is that these are not enough resources to cover every country that needs medical attention.

What we can hear from the global organization is that they will work on improving this situation but the struggle can be expected for at least the next 20 years. When technology improves more it will be easier to transport goods and even find new cures for diseases. It’s hard to determine the exact time but fast technology growth is noticeable.

Vaccine hesitancy

Numbers show that vaccines prevent around 3 million deaths a year and over 2 million more could be avoided if the coverage was improved. The problem is when people don’t want to take the vaccine or for their child even if it is very available. The most influence as trusted advisors still have health workers.

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The health organization is working on eliminating cervical cancer through increased coverage of the HPV vaccine. There are new viruses coming to the spotlight and it’s difficult to cope with them but with new medicine, we are doing a great job. A lot of people don’t realize how serious the situation can be if we didn’t have medication we have today.

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