Highlighting vast inequality in health resources between developed and developing countries, a new UN report has said the deaths caused by non-communicable diseases among ageing populations in the world are rising.
The World Health Organisation report represents the most complete set of health statistics available, for a set of 50 health indicators from the agency’s 193 Member States.
The report points out that there is a 20/90 syndrome in which 30 developed countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development make up less than 20 per cent of the world’s population but spend 90 per cent of available health funding.
Other trends monitored by the report include projections of mortality for the year 2030, aspects of maternal mortality, rates of growth stunting due to malnutrition, the extent to which people can access treatment, the major risk factors for ill-health and health outcomes in the context of demographic factors in individual countries.
Introducing the report to current World Health Assembly, the annual policy-making meeting of WHO, Director- General Margaret Chan, focused on the need for accurate evidence and up-to-date statistics as the basis for policy decisions.
“Reliable health data and statistics are the foundation of health policies, strategies and evaluation and monitoring,” Chan told the gathering in Geneva. “Evidence is also the foundation for sound health information for the general public.”