A couple months ago while stationed in Ghana, I was approached by colleagues and friends with questions on how to prevent contagion from the deadly Ebola virus. Their concern was stoked by reports in media outlets about the rising number of confirmed cases and deaths in neighboring countries.
This week's links focus on World Population Day, the U.N.’s #MDG report, and the link between climate change and health. Each Friday, we share a selection of global health Tweets, infographics, blog posts, videos and more. Follow us @worldbankhealth.
As we observe World Population Day on July 11, there is new momentum in Africa’s Sahel region to achieve an important milestone in many nations’ path to economic prosperity – realizing the demographic dividend.
In 1974, onchocerciasis -- a parasitic disease that causes blindness and is transmitted by black flies -- was raging in many parts of West Africa. The disease, also known as river blindness, was concentrated in the villages lying close to the rivers where the black fly breeds. In such villages, the spectre of young children leading blind adults with a stick was a common sight. Indeed, the high levels of blindness and the weight of parasitic burden on the population led to the abandonment of many villages and the cultivation of land in otherwise fertile river valleys.
El Grupo Interinstitucional de Estimaciones de Mortalidad Materna (MMEIG, por sus siglas en inglés) dio a conocer hoy un informe sobre estas estimaciones a nivel mundial y nacional para 2013. En el mundo, la tasa de mortalidad materna (MMR, por sus siglas en inglés) se redujo de 380 muertes por cada 100 000 nacidos vivos en 1990 a 210 en 2013.
Le Groupe inter-agences pour l’estimation de la mortalité maternelle (MMEIG) a publié aujourd'hui un rapport sur la mortalité maternelle dans le monde et par pays pour 2013. À l'échelle mondiale, le taux de mortalité maternelle a reculé, passant de 380 décès pour 100 000 naissances en 1990 à 210 en 2013.
As we celebrate World Malaria Day this year and rally behind its theme, “Invest in the Future, Defeat Malaria,” countries and the global community are celebrating major accomplishments since 2000. Malaria death rates have been reduced by half among young children, and more than 3.3 million lives have been saved. The malaria map is shrinking: Four countries were recently certified as malaria-free (Armenia, Morocco, Turkmenistan and a United Arab Emirates), and 26 more are moving toward eliminating the disease.
Mohammad, a three-year-old boy, lives in Yirimadjo, a community in Mali. A few weeks ago he woke up feeling ill with a high fever. That same morning, Kumba, a community health worker with the nongovernmental organization Muso, visited his family’s home during her daily door-to-door active case-finding visits. On discovering that the child had a fever, she administered a rapid diagnostic test for malaria, and he tested positive.
For the first time in history, more than half the human population lives in cities, and the vast majority of these people are poor. In Africa and Asia, the urban population is expected to increase between 30-50% between 2000 and 2020. This shift has led to a range of new public health problems, among them road traffic safety. Road crashes are the number 1 killer among those aged 15-29, and the 8th leading cause of death worldwide. The deadly impact from accidents is aggravated by pollution from vehicles, which now contributes to six of the top 10 causes of death globally.
People want dignity, people want rights
In the global survey World We Want 2015, health was the first priority of people living in poor countries. This was not surprising. Every year in Africa, nearly a quarter of a million children under five die because their parents cannot afford to pay for treatment. According to the World Health Organization, 150 million people face catastrophic health care costs every year, while 100 million are pushed into poverty because of direct payments. Increasingly, poor people are protesting the denial of their basic right to access health care when they need it.