Ebola, HIV, cervical cancer, pandemic influenza among chief concerns
| CBS News – The anti-vaccination movement made the list of the World Health Organization’s top threats to global health in 2019.
The organization said some people’s reluctance or refusal to vaccinate threatens to reverse progress made against a host of preventable diseases.
“Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease — it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved,” WHO said in a statement.
The effects of what WHO called “vaccine hesitancy” are already significant.
For example, cases of measles have surged 30 percent worldwide in recent years, despite an effective vaccine that can prevent it. WHO noted that some countries that were close to eliminating the disease have seen a resurgence.
The reasons why some people choose not to vaccinate are complex, WHO said, citing “complacency, inconvenience in accessing vaccines, and lack of confidence” as the main factors.
Even though decades of medical research has proven vaccines are both safe and effective, skeptics continue to spread misinformation online …
Another disease that made WHO’s list of global health threats is Ebola … Read more.
Ten threats to global health in 2019
World Health Organization – The world is facing multiple health challenges.
These range from outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases like measles and diphtheria, increasing reports of drug-resistant pathogens, growing rates of obesity and physical inactivity to the health impacts of environmental pollution and climate change and multiple humanitarian crises.
To address these and other threats, 2019 sees the start of the World Health Organization’s new 5-year strategic plan – the 13th General Programme of Work.
This plan focuses on a triple billion target: ensuring 1 billion more people benefit from access to universal health coverage, 1 billion more people are protected from health emergencies and 1 billion more people enjoy better health and well-being.
Reaching this goal will require addressing the threats to health from a variety of angles.
Here are 10 of the many issues that will demand attention from WHO and health partners in 2019:
1. Air pollution and climate change
2. Noncommunicable diseases (diabetes, cancer, heart disease)
6. Ebola and other high-threat pathogens
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