Global health bright spots 2019

Despite serious challenges, there’s been plenty of good global health news in 2019. These are just a few of the brightest spots.

23 December 2019
 aims to ensure that everyone, everywhere can access quality healthcare, and that no one is pushed into poverty by health costs.

With WHO support , India,  and the Philippines took decisive steps towards expanding health coverage in 2019.

Egypt is defying worrying global trends relating to Hepatitis C — with 57 million people screened and 1 million treated between October 2018 and April 2019.

More women and children are surviving childbirth than ever before thanks to improved access to affordable, quality health services.

Diabetics in low and middle-income countries will soon have better and more affordable access to treatment thanks to the launch of a WHO pilot programme to prequalify insulin.

WHO has also prequalified its first biosimilar medicine to increase worldwide access to life-saving breast cancer treatment.

The fight against polio has achieved a major milestone for humanity with the eradication of the second of three strains of wild poliovirus worldwide.

WHO/S. Torfinn

Although malaria still kills over 400,000 people each year, pregnant women and children in sub-Saharan Africa are better protected, Algeria and Argentina are officially declared malaria-free, and the world’s first malaria vaccine has been piloted in Ghana, Kenya and Malawi.

The Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Organisation for Animal Health and the WHO have launched a dedicated funding vehicle to accelerate global action against Antimicrobial Resistance, the AMR Multi-Partner Trust Fund.

By 2023, WHO aims to ensure that one billion more people benefit from universal health coverage.

Protecting from emergencies

In 2019, substantial gains were made in responding to the world’s second largest Ebola epidemic on record in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The spread of Ebola has slowed within DRC, and the virus has not taken root in neighbouring countries. WHO prequalified an Ebola vaccine in record time, and landmark advances were made in care and treatment.

WHO also supported vaccination campaigns for children across the country as DRC battled the world’s most severe measles outbreak.

UN photo/Martine Perret

WHO investigated 440 events and responded to 51 emergencies in 40 countries and territories in 2019 — including the Rohingya crisiscyclone Idai in Mozambique, and conflict and disease outbreaks in Yemen, Syria, Nigeria and South Sudan. We also responded to floods in Iran and an earthquake in Albania, as well as supported Sudan in responding to six different outbreaks, including .

 are offering opportunities to control mosquito-borne diseases such as Chikungunya, Dengue and Zika.

66顺彩票appBy 2023, WHO aims to ensure that one billion more people are better protected from health emergencies.

Enabling healthier populations

We are witnessing a powerful shift in the global tobacco epidemic, as the number of males using tobacco begins to decline worldwide for the first time66顺彩票app. WHO projects that there will be 5 million fewer male tobacco users globally by 2025.

The international food and beverage industry has committed to align with the WHO target to eliminate industrially produced trans fat from the global food supply by 2023.

The UN Climate Conference COP25 marked 5 key actions to tackle the health risks of climate change. This included the launch of the  and more than 50 countries and 80 cities signing up to WHO’s Air Quality Guidelines through the Clean Air Initiative.

Healthcare providers and policymakers can now refer to new WHO guidelines on adopting a healthy lifestyle to reduce the risk of dementia.

66顺彩票appWHO is working to ensure that one billion more people are enjoying better health and well-being by 2023.

WHO/L. Cipriani

A fit-for-purpose WHO

In 2019, WHO announced the most wide-ranging reforms in the Organization’s history66顺彩票app. Our goal is clear: a modern WHO that works seamlessly to make a measurable impact for people’s health.

Aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals and the wider United Nations reform agenda, the 13th General Programme of Work (2019–2023) guides our work over the next five years to promote health, keep the world safe and serve the vulnerable.


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