Health is a human right. States have an obligation to ensure people can access timely, acceptable, and affordable health care. Despite this, less than half of the world’s population was able to obtain essential health services in 2017.
While life expectancy and healthy life expectancy are both increasing, they are still overwhelmingly influenced by income. Low-income and lower-middle-income countries continue to suffer from the poorest overall health outcomes and lag far behind the global average.
There are more than 40 health-related indicators across the UN Sustainable Development Goals and there has been significant progress in several of these, such as reductions in maternal, neonatal and child mortality. But steady global improvements in many key health indicators, such as non-communicable diseases, are being hampered by the increase of key risk factors like obesity and a lack of reliable and timely population health data.
The COVID-19 crisis is exposing and exacerbating these challenges. The pandemic has brought into focus the need for international collaboration and research and innovation partnerships will be particularly important as countries seek to rebuild resilient health systems, increase access to quality healthcare and provide services such as routine vaccinations and basic hygiene and sanitation.
Source: World Health Organisation, 2020.
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