Half of world’s people can’t get basic health services – says WHO

World Health Organization

 

WHO says half of the world’s population is unable to access essential health services and many others are forced into extreme poverty by having to pay for healthcare they cannot afford.

NAN reports that the UN said the world population was estimated to have reached 7.6 billion as of December 2017. 

The UN estimates it will further increase to 11.2 billion by the year 2100.

The WHO said some 800 million people worldwide spend at least ten per cent of their household income on healthcare for themselves or a sick child, and as many as 100 million of those are left with less than 1.90 dollars a day to live on as a result.

In a joint report with the World Bank, the WHO said it was completely unacceptable that more than half the world’s people still don’t get the most basic healthcare.   “If we are serious, not just about better health outcomes but also about ending poverty, we must urgently scale up our efforts on universal health coverage,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement with the report.

The report had some good news: This century has seen a rise in the number of people getting services such as vaccinations, HIV and AIDS drugs, and mosquito-repelling bed nets and contraception.

There are wide gaps in the availability of services in sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia, the report found.

In other regions, basic services such as family planning and child immunization are more available, but families are suffering financially to pay for them. Yong Kim said this was a sign that “the system is broken”.  “We need a fundamental shift in the way we mobilize resources for health and human capital, especially at the country level,” he said.

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