WHO gives global health check-up

Added On May 19, 2017

The World Health Organization has published a major report, looking back at the significant gains made in the fight against diseases in the last decade.
Let's take a look.
The report is called "Healthier, Fairer, Safer, the global health journey 2007-2017", and it looks at the successes and missed opportunities in world health over the last 10 years.
Sir Liam Donaldson, who prepared the report, says a number of the most deadly afflictions had been tackled in the last decade.
SOUNDBITE (English) SIR LIAM DONALDSON, Envoy for Patient Safety, WHO:
"We certainly saw some major improvements in the diseases that kill people, reductions in HIV/AIDS, reductions in mortality, tuberculosis, falls in maternal mortality and reduction in deaths in under-fives. So major changes in that respect, but beyond that many important things done to improve the health and lives of people around the world."
The report looks at three dimensions – are people getting healthier, is the world of healthcare fairer, and is the world getting safer in health terms?
SOUNDBITE (English) SIR LIAM DONALDSON, Envoy for Patient Safety, WHO:
"I think one of the major achievements of WHO over the last 10 years, working with others, is to shape the future. And there have been some major policies that have been very important from that point of view. Trying to create a population around the world that ages healthily. Setting a goal of universal health coverage. Setting out a set of policies to ensure that health services around the world give priority to reducing the social and economic determinants of health and producing a new modern approach to valuing and supporting people with disability in communities around the world."
The report documents many of the achievements made in the last decade: average world life expectancy is increasing by four months every year. Infant mortality has halved. The death rate for HIV has halved. As has the death rate for malaria.
The report however points out that serious problems and challenges remain, not just in the poorest populations in the world. 
In more developed countries, affluence helps fuel alcohol consumption,  smoking, and obesity... with nearly two billion people in the world now classed as overweight.