Natural disasters, lingering wars, bourgeoning epidemics--2018's headlines revealed a lot about the sheer volume of our human need. And in one way or another, each of those needs has an impact on our health and well-being. Here are just a few of the big global health issues that we at IntraHealth International will be watching and responding to in the coming year.
Imagine a world where affordable, quality health care is available to every person, and where infectious disease and infant and maternal mortality are as rare in the poorest parts as they are in wealthier countries. The world has already come a long way toward meeting this goal. But to finish the job, we need to change our thinking. To be sure, the incidence of child mortality and cases of deadly infectious diseases have dropped dramatically around the world. For example, polio, which once paralyzed a thousand children every day, has been eliminated from all but three countries, with just 33 cases last year.
The Rio Grande Valley is home to many health barriers that are common among low-income communities across the country: Roughly half of the sprawling region is considered a food desert – where neighborhoods, often low-income ones, lack ready access to healthy food – while scores of restaurants and fast-food joints line the roads. Public transportation is limited, and the rates of people without health insurance are generally much higher than in the state overall, leaving many residents to wait until their health conditions reach emergency status before they seek care.
E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices that provide users with aerosol puffs that typically contain nicotine, and sometimes flavorings like fruit, mint or chocolate. They're generally considered a less dangerous alternative to regular cigarettes, but health officials have warned nicotine is harmful to developing brains.