The list released by World Health Organization (WHO) in this week contains issues that affect millions of people around the globe. 2030 is approaching, and we must hold our leaders accountable for their commitments. There have been many sustainable development and millennium development goals which have been developed to take the necessary steps and take the development process forward.
In 2018, WHO published a list of ten global health threats for the year 2019 which also included climate change, antimicrobial resistance, weak primary health care and vaccine hesitancy.
In 2019, WHO assistance was required the most in areas affected by conflict and help people in crisis. For instance, the situation in Syria and the trajectory of events there is unlikely that these crises will resolve soon and so it is important to be sensitive about significant health services available there and whether they are strengthened or not. WHO recorded 978 such attacks on health care in 11 countries, and 193 deaths.
What is the second challenge about?
The second challenge is to deliver health in conflict areas and crisis. Political disturbances have caused conflict in many parts of the world and have created unprecedented refugee crisis. With this upheaval, there is no or little social protection to people and resources, people in these areas completely rely over emergency health care services. This group in refugee camps are more vulnerable and need better care.
Health care amid conflict and crisis
Meanwhile, health workers responding to medical needs in areas of conflict were troubled and faced violence.
When an Ebola outbreak hit the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2018, conflict between militant groups and government forces made it troublesome for health workers to access some of the hardest hit areas.
According to WHO, political solutions are also needed to resolve protracted conflicts, stop neglecting the weakest health systems, and protect health care workers and facilities from attacks.
Advocating for national funding to address gaps in healthcare systems and health infrastructure, as well as providing support to the most vulnerable countries is also required. Investing now will save valuable lives and money later. It will help us bring down the mortality and morbidity rates down.
At this moment when healthcare plays crucial role, the cost of doing nothing is one we cannot afford. Government agencies, national communities, and international agencies must work together to achieve these critical goals. It’s high time we understand that there exist no shortcuts to a healthier world.
Over to you
WHO claimed that the recent challenges listed for the next decade are urgent, many are interrelated and none take higher priority than another.
WHO also noted that all of the challenges demand inputs from not only health sector, but governments, communities and international agencies as well, all working together.