This is a guest post on what I thought to be a quite relevant topic, at the intersection of my interests, health and international development.
Global health is important in today’s world. This is because the health of a nation will affect its social, political and economic state and productivity. Partly because of this, the health care industry is now the world’s largest industry. Both the governmental and private sectors have come together to provide health care services to people even on a global level. However, even though healthcare services have improved and ways have come up to deal with most medical issues, there remains certain health concerns that are facing the world. Some of them are emergent while others have existed for a long time.
Lack of Access to Healthcare Systems.
Even though the health care industry is the largest in the world, some people still lack access to medical facilities and health care services. Lack of access to health care systems is caused by;
– Lack of insurance coverage. An estimated 1 billion people lack health insurance in the world. This means that sometimes, medical cover becomes too expensive for individuals. Some do not have insurance coverage because they cannot afford it, and others because they do not understand its benefits. Take the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) for example, owners of the card can receive state health care at a reduced cost and sometimes for free. EHIC application and renewal can also be done conveniently on-line.
– Lack of availability. Even though this varies from country to country, this is especially common in developing countries. These countries have people who live under $1 a day and constructing and managing health facilities or employing medical workers is prohibitively expensive.
– High cost of medical services. Health care keeps rising, especially in privately owned healthcare facilities.
Non Communicable Diseases.
The most common are cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancers and chronic lung diseases. These have been made common by the changing lifestyles in today’s world.
- They kill more people globally than infectious diseases.
- They represent nearly two thirds of the world’s deaths annually, most in low and middle income countries.
- Can be avoided by not using tobacco, sticking to healthy diets, exercising and not drinking too much alcohol.
HIV/AIDS is a global pandemic and has claimed more than 36 million people.
- Sub-Saharan area is the most affected. Up to 60% of people living with HIV/AIDS live in this area.
- Even though health care systems come up with ways to fight HIV/AIDS, new infections still occur annually. Factors like changing lifestyles e.g. early introduction to sex and homosexuality are some of the factors that have contributed to this.
Infectious diseases such as malaria, TB, Meningitis and Measles are also some of the health concerns the world is facing today. These diseases if not prevented or treated early lead to death of many adults and children. Even though countless efforts have been put into fighting these infectious diseases, some of the efforts have been frustrated by re-emergence.
- Infectious diseases are especially a concern because some have a high infection rate.
- With world globalization through trade, tourism, spread can become worldwide and affect the global population.
- Some infectious diseases have become antibiotic resistance and constant research has to be done to keep up with them.