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 infant mortality rate dropped by 15 percent from 2005 to 2014, fewer Americans are smoking cigarettes and more people are exercising. Still, these numbers vary by state, in part because some states have been more successful than others at providing their residents with health care coverage. Not only do low-income families have more difficulty gaining health care coverage, but they may also face other disadvantages like lack of proper nutrition and more mental stressors. U.S. News determined which states are the healthiest – termed Best States for public health – by comparing them across a range of metrics: infant mortality rate, mortality rate, obesity rate, smoking rate, suicide rate and mental health.