Health inequities in the European Region

Reblogged from Science on the Net

Europe is on track to achieve the Health 2020 target to reduce premature mortality from cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes mellitus and chronic respiratory diseases by 1.5 percent annually until 2020. However, there are other challenges for the European Region, like those concerning health inequalities among countries.

Recently, WHO presented the Health Report 2015, published every three years, which aims to collect data from all the WHO databases concerning the main health topics. This edition has two goals: reporting on progress towards the Health 2020 targets in the Region so far, for instance on premature mortality linked to risk factors, life expectancy or the health coverage, and highlighting new frontiers in health information. Data are mainly taken from Health for All database, the Global Status of NCDs 2014 and the EU detailed Mortality database.

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The WHO report on violence throughout the World

Reblogged from Science on the Net

Homicide is the third leading cause of death globally for males aged 15-44 years. In general, there are 1.3 million people worldwide die each year from some form of violence, particularly among low-income people. A quarter of all adults report having been physically abused as children, one in five women reports having sexually abused as a child. One in three women has been a victim of physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner at some point in her lifetime. And one in 17 older adults reported abuses in the past month.

These are just some of the data contained within the Global status report on violence prevention in 2014,published in December 2014, the first WHO study that provides an accurate picture of the current situation concerning violence worldwide.

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Health in Europe. Improvement through cooperation

Reblogged from Science on the Net

Talking about the European Region does not mean speaking of a homogeneous situation, also from the point of view of health. To realize how complex and articulated the European scenario is, just think that in Ukraine, Romania, Moldova and Turkey twice as many children die before the age of five if the figures are compared with so-called industrialized countries. Not to mention the infectious diseases, the use of alcohol and tobacco, which reflect a Europe still deeply layered and with several countries still extremely dependent on their history.

The issue is not trivial because if it is true that Europe wants to brand itself as a unique community and pursue common objectives, it is necessary to take the issue of health policies very seriously. Health is in fact a major resource and asset for societies, because good health benefits all sectors, including economic growth.

This is the viewpoint of the World Health Organization that in September 2012 has launched Health 2020, the new European policy framework for health and well-being, involving the 53 Members States of the WHO European Region. The philosophy of Health 2020 is very clear: its aim is not to make national and local health systems even but to make them evenly better. This is at once a challenge and a turning point. A challenge that basically translates into two points: first, the need to improve health for all and reduce the health divide and, moreover, the need to strengthen leadership and participatory governance for health. 

Specifically, Health 2020 is based on four priority areas: investing in health through a life-course approach and empowering people; tackling the most important challenges of noncommunicable and communicable diseases; strengthening people-centred health systems and, finally, creating resilient communities and environments.

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