The most urgent health challenges for this decade have been released by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), the public health agency of the United Nations. These are the factors that will most greatly impact the world in terms of its ability to maintain health among its societies.
What Are the W.H.O.’s Most Urgent Health Challenges?
According to the W.H.O., the most urgent health challenges we’re currently facing include:
- Climate change
- Infectious diseases
- Antimicrobial resistance
The list of issues was published last month following contributions from medical experts from around the world.
What Does This List Mean?
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O. director general, tweeted that the list of the most urgent health challenges is a direct reflection of a deep concern regarding the inadequate priority given by world leaders. Leaders from around the world aren’t seeing those issues for the threats that they are and, therefore, are not directing enough of their resources into central health systems and priorities. As a result, this is “putting lives & economies in jeopardy,” said the tweet.
Dr. Adhanom Ghebreyesus went on to highlight how important it is for countries to see health as an investment into the future. He pointed out that countries are willing to invest funds and resources into protecting their populations from terrorist attacks, but are unwilling to do the same thing to protect against a virus attack, “which could be far more deadly & far more damaging economically & socially.” He stated that the world’s responsibility for action against these issues is a shared one.
Equally Urgent Health Challenges
The W.H.O. was careful to point out that while the most urgent health challenges were presented in a list, they are equally important. None of the issues are deserving of a greater priority over others. Moreover, they are often interlinked, which means that it is important to focus on them all in order to positively affect outcomes in each one individually.
Furthermore, the W.H.O. also underscored that these challenges aren’t just the responsibility of the health sector. Instead, international agencies, governments, and communities must work together in order to invest into these areas to improve potential outcomes worldwide.
What’s on the W.H.O.’s List?
The following were the main urgent health challenges on the list:
- Climate crisis as a health crisis
- Health care amid conflict and crisis
- Making access to health care fairer for everyone
- Stopping infectious diseases, preparing for epidemics
- Unsafe food and tobacco products
- Investing in health workers and teens
- Anti-vaxxers and new technology
- Medicines and clean facilities