Tag Archives: Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

World Health Statistics 2020: Selected Highlights

The World Health Organization (WHO) released the World Health Statistics 2020 on 13 May 2020.

Key Messages:

Life expectancy and Healthy life expectancy (HALE)

Life expectancy and Healthy life expectancy (HALE) have both increased globally.

However, the increase is non-uniform:

  • The life-expectancy in low-income countries (62.7 years) is 18.1 years lower than in high-income countries (80.8 years).

% increase in Life expectancy (2000-2016)

Low income countries

High income countries Global
21% (11 years) 8% (5 years)

4% (3 years)

  • Most of the increase in life-expectancy in low-income countries is due to reductions in under-5 mortality

Measure

Baseline

Latest

Year Value Year

Value

Under-5 mortality

2000

143/1000 live births 2018

68/1000 live births

  • In low-income countries less than 60% newborns are expected to live beyond 70 years, and children less than 15 years’ age account for more than one-third of all deaths.
  • In high-income countries, 80% of newborns are expected to live beyond 70 years’ age; the top three leading causes of premature death are ischaemic heart disease, lung cancer and suicides.

None of the main health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators with explicit targets for 2030 are on-track to meet them.

Low-income and lower-middle-income countries have the poorest overall health outcomes- far behind the global average.

Health systems and Universal Health Coverage (UHC)

Globally, around 40% of medical doctors and 90% of nursing personnel are women (76% overall). On average, nurses account for 59% of health professionals- 1 in 6 of whom is ≥55 years old. Women are often under-represented at senior management levels.

Globally, catastrophic health expenditure (defined as large out of pocket spending in relation to household consumption or income) has steadily increased since 2000.

Out-of pocket expenditure on health care

Measure

Baseline Latest

Year

Value Year Value
>10% of household budget 2000 9.4% 2015

12.7%

>25% of household budget 2000 1.7% 2015

3%

In 2015, most people (87%) suffering large out-of-pocket health payments were living in middle-income countries. Most of the people pushed into extreme poverty (surviving on less than $1.90 per person per day) by out-of-pocket payments live in middle-income countries and South-East Asia.

Maternal Mortality

Globally, 295 000 women died during and following pregnancy and childbirth in 2017, with sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia accounting for about 86% of all maternal deaths.

Since 2000, maternal mortality ratio (MMR) [maternal deaths per 100 000 live births] has declined by 38% to 211/ 100 000 live births in 2017.

The majority of maternal deaths can be prevented by appropriate management of pregnancy and care at birth; and improved spacing of births.

Skilled health personnel at birth

Measure

Baseline Latest

Year

Value Year

Value

Skilled attendant at birth

2000-2006

64% 2014-2019

81%

Modern family planning methods

2000

73.6% 2020

76.8%

Adolescent (15-19 y) fertility rate

2000 56/1000 2020

41/1000

Mortality in children

Measure

Baseline

Latest
Year Value Year

Value

Neonatal mortality rate

2000

31/1000 LB* 2018

18/1000 LB

Under-5 mortality rate

2000

76/1000 LB 2018

39/1000 LB

*LB: Live Births

Immunization coverage

Vaccine

Baseline

Latest

Year

Value Year

Value

DTP3*

2000

72% 2018

86%

3rd dose of Hepatitis B

2000

30% 2018

84%

*Third dose of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis containing vaccine

In 2016, unsafe drinking water and sanitation, and lack of hand hygiene were responsible for nearly 1.2 million deaths, including almost 300 000 deaths of under-5 year old children due to diarrhoea.

Malnutrition

Children under 5 years of age

Measure

Baseline

Latest
Year Value Year

Value

Stunting

2000

32.4% 2019

21.3%

 

There are significant in-country inequalities. For instance:

  • In one third of 47 low- and middle-income countries studied, the under-five mortality rate was 20 deaths per 1000 live births higher in rural areas than in urban areas
  • About 8 in 10 of people worldwide who lack access to basic drinking-water services live in rural areas, as do 7 out of 10 of those lacking basic sanitation services
  • In one quarter of 63 low- and middle-income study countries, stunting prevalence was at least 20% higher among children under five years whose mothers lacked formal education than among the children whose mothers had at least secondary education

Communicable diseases

Measure

Baseline

Latest
Year Value Year

Value

TB incidence rate

2000

172/100 000 2018

132/100 000

Malaria incidence rate

2000

81/1000 2018

57/1000

Most of the progress against TB, malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases has slowed or stalled in recent years.

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs)

There has been inadequate progress in preventing and controlling premature death from NCDs.

Worldwide, around 41 million people died of NCDs in 2016 (71% of all deaths). Most of those deaths were due to

  1. Cardiovascular diseases (17.9 million deaths)
  2. Cancer (9.0 million deaths)
  3. Chronic respiratory diseases (3.8 million deaths)
  4. Diabetes (1.6 million deaths)

While premature mortality due to chronic respiratory diseases (40% lower), cardiovascular diseases and cancer (both 19% lower) declined, there is a 5% increase in premature mortality due to diabetes.

Cancer is the leading cause of premature death in high-income countries, and cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of premature mortality in lower-middle-income countries.

Modifiable Risk Factors

Worldwide, since 2000, the age-standardised prevalence of obesity among adults (≥18 years) has increased 1.5 times.

The prevalence of children under 5 years of age who are overweight has increased across all country income groups since 2000, and was highest (8.8%) in the upper-middle income group.

Measure

Baseline

Latest

Year

Value Year

Value

Obesity prevalence (Children 5-19)

2000

2.9% 2016

6.8%

Overweight (under-5 children)

2000

30.3 million 2019

38.3 million

Tobacco use (≥15 years)

2000

33.3% 2018

23.6%

Tobacco use (men)

2000

50.0% 2018

38.6%

Tobacco use (women)

2000

16.7% 2018

8.5%

Environmental Risk Factors

Air pollution caused around 7 million deaths in 2016, largely as a result of stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.

People in low and middle-income countries accounted for >90% of deaths attributable to air pollution.

Road Traffic Injuries

Globally, road traffic crashes killed 1.35 million people worldwide in 2016 – nearly 3700 deaths per day – and injured 50 million more people. More than half of global road traffic deaths are among pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Data Challenges

For most countries, recent primary or underlying data were available for between half and 80% of the heath-related SDG indicators mentioned in the Report. However, for almost one fifth of countries, over half of the indicators have no recent primary or direct underlying data.

Significant gaps exist in the availability and quality of data to inform global health-related SDG monitoring. Many national health information systems require urgent improvements, starting with greater investments in human and technical resources and collaboration.

Useful Links:

Link to the related WHO news release:

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/13-05-2020-people-living-longer-and-healthier-lives-but-covid-19-threatens-to-throw-progress-off-track

Link to the World Health Statistics 2020:

https://www.who.int/gho/publications/world_health_statistics/2020/en/