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The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that half of the world lacks access to the health services they require. Eight hundred million people report spending at least 10 percent of their household budget on health expenses annually.1 Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.2 Nearly 18 million people around the world die as a result of cardiovascular disease (CVD) each year, accounting for 31 percent of all deaths. Over 75 percent of CVD deaths occur in middle or low income nations, and 85 percent of CVD related deaths are attributed to a heart attack or stroke.3 A quarter of all deaths in the United States are caused by cardiovascular disease.4 Recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus between 2014 and 2016 were the largest outbreaks in world history, with 28,610 cases and 11,308 fatalities in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Outbreaks in previous years had not exceeded 318 casualties in a region.5 Globally, as few as 37 million and as many as almost 44 million people are living with HIV/AIDS today.6 In 2017, 21.7 million people were receiving antiretroviral treatment.7 Two hundred seventy five million people worldwide use illicit drugs annually, which include cannabis, amphetamines, opioids and cocaine, with cannabis being the most popular; 8 Twenty percent of the world, or one billion people, smoke tobacco.9 Eleven million people worldwide use intravenous drugs, and another 5 million have hepatitis C.10 Show References
1 https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/13-12-2017-world-bank-and-who-half-the-world-lacks-access-to-essential-health-services-100-million-still-pushed-into-extreme-poverty-because-of-health-expenses 2 https://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/about_cvd/en/ 3 https://www.who.int/cardiovascular_diseases/en/ 4 https://www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/facts.htm 5 https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/about.html 6 https://www.who.int/gho/hiv/en/ 7 https://www.who.int/gho/hiv/epidemic_response/en/ 8 https://www.who.int/substance_abuse/facts/psychoactives/en/ 9 https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/05/31/406997974/whos-addicted-to-what-the-first-worldwide-guide 10 http://www.who.int/substance_abuse/facts/en/
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Reproductive Health
Substance Abuse, Drugs, Alcohol
Hearing Impairment
Cardiovascular Diseases
Healthcare Access
Lung Cancer
Mental Illness
Suicide Prevention
Vision Impairment
Health Other
Hunger and Malnutrition
Neurological Disorders
Kidney Disease
Eating Disorders
Colorectal Cancer
Obstetric Fistulas
Breast Cancer
Skin Cancer
Cleft Palate
Down Syndrome
Alzheimer's and Dementia
Public Health
Estimates have shown that roughly 214 million women across the globe want to avoid pregnancy, yet lack modern, effective forms of contraception.1 Approximately 800 women die each day due to unforeseen complications in pregnancy and childbirth, the majority of which are preventable. In 2015 alone, 303,000 women died as a result of maternal-related complications.2 These maternal deaths occur primarily in low-income, under-resourced regions of developing nations.3 The leading causes of such deaths are hemorrhaging, hypertension and infection.4 A woman in a developing nation is 33 times more likely to lose her life due to maternal complications than a woman who lives in a developed nation.5 Throughout low-income nations, less than half of deliveries are attended by a skilled birth attendant.6 Child marriages can also pose Read More threats to a woman’s health, creating issues during pregnancy and childbirth and rendering the girls vulnerable to domestic abuse.7 Show Less
wo hundred seventy five million people worldwide use illicit drugs annually, which include cannabis, amphetamines, opioids and cocaine, with cannabis being the most popular; 1 Twenty percent of the world, or one billion people, smoke tobacco.2 Eleven million people worldwide use intravenous drugs, and 1.3 million of this population have HIV/AIDS. Another 5 million have hepatitis C.3 The prevalence of illicit drug use is largely unknown, and depends widely upon estimations, as such drug use and dependencies are often hidden.4 Over 21 million Americans from age 12 and older were facing a substance addiction in 2014.5 In 2015, international organized crime groups made a fifth to a third of their profit from drug sales.6 It is estimated that 240 million people worldwide suffer from alcoholism — Read More 5 percent of the world population.7 High income nations have higher alcohol per capita consumption rates than low income nations. Abuse of alcohol causes the deaths of 3.3 million people worldwide annually8, making up 7 percent of male deaths and 4 percent of female deaths worldwide.9 The prevalence of alcohol-related deaths varies from region to region, with Europe having the highest rate of fatalities caused by alcohol misuse.10 In the United States alone, 80,000 people die alcohol related deaths each year, and alcoholism is considered to be one of the most preventable causes of death in the United States, just behind tobacco use.11 Three of every four deaths caused by alcohol poisoning are men, and driving while intoxicated accounts for 30 percent of fatalities in the United States annually. Less than 8 percent of United States citizens who struggle with alcohol receive treatment,12 and only 16 percent of people worldwide are able to receive proper treatment for their substance addictions.13 Show Less
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a relatively rare disease, yet it is the most common adult-onset motor neuron disease. Nearly two in every 100,000 people develop ALS worldwide, and the majority of those diagnosed survive for just two to four years post diagnosis.1 In 2015, 222,801 people were living with ALS, and researchers estimate this number will increase by 69 percent over the next two decades.2 Symptoms of ALS include trouble swallowing — which can progress to respiratory failure — muscular atrophy and fatigue.3 Hereditary ALS accounts for 5–10 percent of cases, yet the majority of cases have no direct cause. Individuals over 60 years of age have a greater likelihood of developing ALS.4 Currently, there is no cure for ALS.5
Approximately 466 million or 5 percent of people worldwide have a disabling hearing impairment, 34 million of which are children. A disabling loss of hearing is classified as any loss greater than 40 dB from the standard level of hearing in a healthy adult ear. For children, it is classified as any loss greater than 30 dB from the level of hearing in a healthy child’s ear.1 In developing nations, children and adults with hearing loss face barriers in accessing education or becoming part of the workforce.2 Hearing loss can be genetically acquired or be caused by complications during birth, disease, chronic ear infections, certain medications, overexposure to loud noise or aging. 3 Diseases that can cause hearing loss include meningitis, measles, mumps, rubella and syphilis.4 Read More Certain drugs used to treat malaria, and medications used to prevent neonatal infections, can also cause hearing impairments.5 Show Less
Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and the disease is responsible for an estimated 8.2 million deaths a year.1 Liver, lung, stomach, breast, and colorectal cancer cause the most deaths each year.2 Approximately 14 million cases of cancer occur each year, but this number is expected to rise to over 20 million in the next decade.3 Over 70% of the world's cancer deaths occur in Africa, Asia, and Central and South America.4 The leading behavioral risks for cancer are alcohol and tobacco usage, lack of physical activity, high body mass index, and low fruit and vegetable intake.5 Tobacco usage is a particularly dangerous practice and tobacco accounts for more than 20% of global cancer deaths.6 The risk of contracting cancer increases substantially Read More with age, and 78% of all cancer cases in developed countries occur in individuals 55 and older, as do 58% of all cases in developing countries.7 About 15% of all cancer cases worldwide are attributed to infectious agents such as the hepatitis B virus, HIV, and the human papillomavirus.8 However, this percentage jumps up to 26% in developing countries due to the lack of vaccinations and the decreased availability of screenings and testing for infection.9 Additionally, many developing countries do not have the resources, facilities, training, or technology to effectively diagnose and treat chronic forms of cancer. According to the World Health Organization, more than 30 developing countries, half of them in Africa, that still do not have access to radiation therapy.10 Africa also has much lower survival rates for highly curable forms of cancer, such as cervical cancer.11 Often in African treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery are reserved only for the wealthy and 70% of cancer cases in the developing world are diagnosed too late for treatment to be effective.12  Show Less
An estimated 300 million people suffer from some form of depression worldwide.1 Depression can be classified from mild to moderate or severe, and has a range of contributors. Social, physical and biological factors can all affect an individual’s mental health, and treatments range from cognitive behavioral therapy to antidepressant medication, though medications are used primarily for moderate to severe cases of depression.2 Less than 50 percent of those affected by depression receive any treatment.3 Recurrent depressive disorder is a continuing series of depressive episodes while bipolar affective disorder is distinguished by alternating series of manic and depressive episodes.4 Severe cases of depression can lead to suicide, and though most cases of depression do not lead to suicide, the majority of suicides stem from a mental Read More illness, most commonly depression.5 Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States alone, and 50 percent of those who commit suicide were suffering from depression.6 However, 80–90 percent of all those who go through treatment for depression respond positively.7 Show Less
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.1 Nearly 18 million people around the world die as a result of cardiovascular disease (CVD) each year, accounting for 31 percent of all deaths. Over 75 percent of CVD deaths occur in middle or low income nations, and 85 percent of CVD related deaths are attributed to a heart attack or stroke.2 The occurrence rate in men and women is nearly equal.3 Cardiovascular disease accounts for a series of disorders including hypertension or high blood pressure, coronary heart disease or heart attack, cerebrovascular disease or stroke, peripheral vascular disease, heart failure, congenital heart disease, cardiomyopathies and rheumatic heart disease.4 The World Health Organization predicts that cardiovascular disease will remain the leading cause of death by 2030.5 A quarter Read More of all deaths in the United States are caused by cardiovascular disease. Approximately 735,000 Americans have a heart attack each year.6 Cardiovascular disease is largely preventable by lessening a series of risk factors including poor diet, misuse of tobacco and alcohol, as well as increasing physical activity.7 Show Less
Approximately 425 million adults are living with diabetes worldwide, contributing to 1.6 million deaths in 2016.1 It is a disease attributed to lower life expectancy, higher risk of stroke, kidney failure, heart attack, vision loss and nerve damage.2 A modified diet, medication plan and blood sugar monitoring can treat and manage diabetes.3 Type 1 diabetes is otherwise known as insulin-dependent or childhood-onset diabetes, and is not preventable. Type 1 diabetes is a deficiency of insulin, and treatment includes daily doses of insulin to manage the deficiency. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by excess body weight and lack of physical activity, and is non-insulin-dependent. Type 2 diabetes is characterized by the body’s inefficient use of insulin.4 China has the highest number of diabetics, over 114 million, with India Read More following at 72.9 million, then the United States with over 30 million.5 Though, in terms of prevalence, 33 percent of the population of the Marshall Islands has diabetes, while OECD nations have an average rate of 13 percent. Though the United States is the nation with the third highest diabetic population, those 30 million citizens account for just 9 percent of the population as whole.6 Show Less
The definition of a disability varies widely between medical, social and legal settings. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines disabilities as “impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.” In this definition, an “impairment” refers to an issue with a physical body part or function, an “activity limitation” as a barrier barring an individual from engaging in any number of activities, and a “participation restriction” is a difficulty an individual experiences while attempting to be a part of a life situation.1 WHO estimates that over one billion people worldwide have some form of disability — 15 percent of the world population. As a result of the largely lacking services for persons with disabilities around the world, those who have a disability are often more likely to be in Read More poverty than those without a disability, lacking in educational opportunities, access to healthcare and employment opportunities.2 Fifty percent of those who have a disability do not have access to healthcare.3 One percent of the world falls has autism spectrum disorder, over 120 million people. One in every 59 children born in the United States are on the autism spectrum.4 Worldwide, it is estimated that 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with Down Syndrome each year. A range of 60 to 80 percent of children with Down Syndrome also have hearing impairments.5 Spinal cord injuries affect half a million people around the world annually,6 and in the United States alone, over five million people have some form of paralysis.7 Show Less
The Ebola virus originated along the Ebola River in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976. The virus is highly contagious, and spreads via contact with bodily fluids of infected individuals. Ebola enters through wounds, broken skin or any mucous membranes in an individual, such as in the eyes, nose or mouth.1 Symptoms of Ebola include fever, severe headache, muscle pain, weakness, tiredness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal or stomach pain and unexplained bleeding or bruising.2 Recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus include the 2014–2016 outbreak in West Africa, and the 2018 Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo outbreak. The West Africa outbreak was the largest in world history, with 28,610 cases and 11,308 fatalities in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Outbreaks in previous years had not Read More exceeded 318 casualties in a region.3 In 2018, the Democratic Republic of the Congo entered its tenth Ebola outbreak since 1976.4 Show Less
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that half of the world lacks access to the health services they require. Eight hundred million people report spending at least 10 percent of their household budget on health expenses annually.1 For nearly 100 million people worldwide, these healthcare expenses can force them into poverty.2 Despite this, immunizations, family planning, antiretroviral therapy for HIV and medicated mosquito nets are becoming more and more accessible.3 Additionally, as of 2017, 80 percent of live births worldwide were attended by a healthcare professional,4 though just 59 percent of births in Sub-Saharan Africa were attended by a professional.5 The Netherlands, France, Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom are the leaders in the Global Access to Healthcare Index. The index accounts for the accessibility of child Read More and maternal healthcare services, disease prevention and immunizations, access to medications and the distribution of healthcare services in a given nation.6 Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Cambodia are the three lowest ranking nations in terms of healthcare access.7 Currently, the worldwide average life expectancy is 71 years.8 Show Less
Among men, lung cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer, and among women it is the third most commonly occurring cancer. In 2018, two million new cases of lung cancer were reported worldwide,1 accounting for 13 percent of all new cancer diagnoses. Over half of these cases were recorded in developing nations.2 Smoking, exposure to radon, secondhand smoke and diesel exhaust can increase risk of developing lung cancer.3 Tobacco accounts for 22 percent of cancer related fatalities.4 Hungary, Serbia, New Caledonia and Greece have the highest prevalence rates of lung cancer with 40–56 cases for every 100,000 citizens.5 Chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are all treatments for lung cancer.6
Globally, as few as 37 million and as many as almost 44 million people are living with HIV/AIDS today.1 In 2017, 21.7 million people were receiving antiretroviral treatment.2 On the African continent, one in every four adults has HIV, making up two third of the world’s HIV infected population.3 In 2017 alone, nearly 2 million people were infected with HIV and 940,000 people died of HIV/AIDS.4 It is estimated that 25 percent, over 9 million, of those who have HIV/AIDS are not aware they have the virus.5 The populations most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS are those who are incarcerated, men who have sex with men, those who are transgender, men and women in the commercial sex industry and those who use intravenous drugs.6 Since 1996, the rate Read More of HIV infections has slowed by 47 percent, from 3.8 million new infections in 1996 to 1.8 million in 2017. Nearly half of people living with HIV are virally suppressed, meaning that the virus has been stabilized, however, there is currently no cure for HIV/AIDS.7 Show Less
In 2017, it is estimated there were 219 million cases of malaria worldwide and over 400,000 deaths, an increase from 217 million cases in 2016. Ninety two percent of malaria cases were found on the African continent, and 93 percent of deaths.1 Symptoms include fever, headaches and chills, but may not appear until 10-15 days after the infected mosquito bite, and often escalate 24 hours after appearing. The disease can often be fatal if not treated promptly.2 Over 50 percent of the world’s population is vulnerable to malaria in some capacity.3 Infants and pregnant women are more vulnerable to malaria, as well as migrant populations — who have not built up an immunity to the disease — and individuals with HIV/AIDS.4 Over two thirds of Read More all malaria related fatalities occur in children under the age of five, taking the life of a child every two minutes.5 Malaria is preventable and treatable. Mosquito netting, and insecticide spraying grounds and structures can protect vulnerable populations from the disease. A multi-step medication called artemisinin can treat malaria, and is typically effective.6 Show Less
Nearly 20% of the world's children and adolescents suffer from some form of mental illness.1 There is a strong link between mental illness and suicide, although not all suicides are the result of mental illness. More than 800,000 die each year from suicide and suicide is the second leading cause of death in 15 to 29 year-olds individuals.2 Approximately 75% of suicide cases occur in middle and low-income countries.3 It is estimated that depression afflicts more than 4% of the world's population.4 The most depressed country in the world is Afghanistan, where 20% of the population suffers from depressive disorders and the least depressed country is Japan with less than 2.5% of the population suffering from depression.5 Women and girls are more prone to depression Read More than men and are at a disproportionately greater risk of death and disease from mental illness.6 Some barriers to treatment and diagnosis of mental illness include social taboos regarding mental health problems that prevent people from discussing their symptoms or seeking professional help or medical attention.7 Additionally, mental health issues are often absent from the public health agenda, and mental health treatment resources are often not integrated within primary care options.8 In general, solutions to mental health issues and treatment for those suffering from mental illness, are inhibited by a lack of public funding and a lack of public understanding.9 Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder also represent two major mental health disorders worldwide. More than 21 million people are affected by schizophrenia.10 Although schizophrenia is a very treatable disease, nearly half of people living with schizophrenia do not receive treatment.11 On average, the mortality rate for people living with schizophrenia is over 2.5 times higher than the average population, and those living with bipolar disorder are have mortality rates 35% to 50% higher than the average person.12 Additionally, 75% of all those diagnosed with bipolar disorder have also been diagnosed with at least one other mental disorder, most commonly panic disorders, substance abuse disorders, or other behavioral disorders.13 Show Less
Nearly one million people around the world die each year from suicide,1 and suicide is the second leading cause of death for 15 to 29 year-olds.2 Suicide is the 15th leading cause of death for all age groups.3 Globally, one person dies by their own hand every 40 seconds and suicide accounts for 1.8% of the total global deaths.4 Additionally, global suicide rates have increased by over 60% in the past four decades.5 The majority of suicides, about 75%, occur in low and middle-income countries.6 The countries with the highest rates of suicide are Lithuania (31 suicides per 100,000 people), South Korea (28.1), Guyana (26.4 per 100,000). Kazakstan (25.6 per 100,000 people), Slovenia (21.8 per 100,000), Hungary (21.7 per 100,000), Japan (21.4 per 100,000) Sri Lanka Read More (21.3 per 100,000), Latvia (20.7 per 100,000), Belarus (20.5 per 100,000).7 Traditionally, the group most at risk for suicide has been elderly men; however, in recent years the number of youth suicides has increased rapidly and youth are the group most at risk for suicide in nearly a third of the world.8 Mental health disorders are associated with 90% of all suicide cases, particularly depression and substance abuse.9 Other factors that increase an individual's risk of suicide include crises such as the loss of a family member, the loss of a job, and abuse and discrimination based on one's sexual orientation.10 In fact, LGBTQ youth are at a higher risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior due to bullying and discrimination and the rejection of their sexual identity by family members.11 LGBTQ youth are four times more likely to attempt suicide than their straight peers, and LGBTQ individuals who are rejected by their families are eight times more likely to commit suicide than their LGBTQ peers who come from accepting families.12 Additionally, suicide rates among African-American and Hispanic youth are twice as high as the suicide rates of white youth.13 Women are more likely to commit suicide than men, but men are more likely to die from suicide than women.14 Effective suicide prevention measures recommended by the World Health Organization include the responsible reporting of suicide and the avoidance of stories that sensationalize suicides or provide detailed accounts.15 Additionally, the early identification and treatment of depression and substance abuse can significantly reduce the rates of suicide in at-risk individuals.16 Show Less
Each day throughout the world over one million people will obtain a sexually transmitted infection.1 The four most common sexually transmitted infections (STIs) around the world are chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis.2 STIs have severely negatively impacted the overall sexual and reproductive health of people worldwide.3 Certain STIs have become incredibly difficult to treat because of their resistance to drug treatments and this can increase people's likelihood of contracting HIV.4 STIs are a rising health concern globally since there are a very common health concern.5 Over one million new cases of STIs are diagnosed each day.6 The repercussions of this epidemic are severe and are causing serious maternal and child health issues.7 For example, mother-to-child transmitted syphilis often results in stillbirth, neonatal death, premature births, and Read More several types of congenital deformities.8 Certain governments have developed programs that advocate for safer sexual practices, cheaper contraceptives, and more testing and treatment centers in accessible areas.9 Genital herpes, a viral infection, for which there is no cure, is fueling the HIV epidemic in many countries.10 The control of the spread of chlamydia has proven to be very costly as well as logistically difficult even in countries where STI prevention measures have long been instituted.11 As a result of the rise of STIs the World Health Assembly advocated for the Global Vaccine Action Plan.12 This plan endorses resources that will support research for the development of new vaccines and measures to properly and evenly distribute them.13 Low-income countries bear the brunt of the STI burden as they do not typically have the necessary amounts of resources or expertise to adequately attack the problem.14 Some proposed solutions from the World Health Organization have been a complete integration of STI prevention measures and services into countries existing healthcare systems, programs that will fight the stigmatization of those already living with STIs and adequate and uniform STI measuring systems.15 Show Less
It is estimated that 36 million people around the world are blind, and 1.6 billion people worldwide have some form of vision impairment. Approximately 80 percent of all vision impairment — including blindness, nearsightedness and farsightedness — are preventable.1 The causes of vision impairment vary by region, but the largest contributors globally are uncorrected refractions and cataracts. Lower income nations have higher occurrences of congenital cataracts than high income nations.2 In high income nations, diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration are the more prevalent causes of vision loss.3
Some of the world’s most significant health threats include HIV/AIDS, heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, diarrheal diseases, and poor vaccination practices. Over 33 million people are currently living with HIV/AIDS worldwide, and over 25 million people have died since the first case of HIV/AIDSwas diagnosed in 1981.1 Nearly 97% of all those infected with HIV/AIDS live in low and middle-income countries, and are particularly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa.2.An estimated 3.4 million children are currently living with HIV/AIDS worldwide.3 People living with HIV/AIDS are statistically more likely to face discrimination, isolation, and abuse from family members and other members of society as a result of the negative stigmas surrounding the disease.4 Sexually transmitted diseases are a major health burden, and more than one million people Read More contract a sexually transmitted disease every day worldwide.5 Additionally, each year 500 million people become ill with chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, or trichomoniasis.6 Several strains of sexually transmitted infections can substantially increase the likelihood of contracting HIV.7 More than 290 million women globally are infected with the human papillomavirus (HPV).8 Untreated HPV can cause cervical cancer and cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis, anus, throat, and tonsils.9 Noncommunicable diseases were attributed to 68% of deaths worldwide in 2012.10 The four leading noncommunicable diseases globally are cardiovascular diseases, cancers, diabetes, and chronic lung diseases.11 Cancer accounts for over 8 million deaths each year,12 cardiovascular diseases for 17 million deaths, lung diseases for 4 million, and diabetes for 1.3 million deaths.13 More than 80% of deaths from noncommunicable diseases occur in low or middle-income countries.14 Most noncommunicable diseases have similar risk factors, such as physical inactivity, excessive tobacco and alcohol use, and poor nutritional health.15 The leading communicable diseases worldwide include HIV/AIDS, malaria, cholera, and tuberculosis. In 2012 there were 207 million cases of malaria worldwide and the disease was responsible for an estimated 670,000 deaths, particularly African children.16 One child in Africa dies every minute from malaria.17 Cholera and other waterborne diseases are also prevalent due to the fact that 748 million people still do not have access to clean water sources worldwide.18 There are approximately 1.4 to 4.3 million cases of cholera in the world and the disease causes anywhere from 28,000 to 140,000 deaths each year.19 In 2012 there were 8.6 million cases of tuberculosis and 1.3 million deaths.20 Vaccine-preventable diseases are a particularly deadly threat in developing countries where immunization is low. Around 1.5 million children under the age of five die each year from preventable diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and measles.21 1 http://aids.gov/hiv-aids-basics/hiv-aids-101/global-statistics/ 2 Ibid 3 http://www.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.6234243/k.C392/HIVAIDS.htm 4 http://www.avert.org/hiv-aids-stigma-and-discrimination.htm 5http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs110/en/ 6 Ibid 7 Ibid 8 Ibid 9 http://www.cdc.gov/std/hpv/stdfact-hpv.htm 10 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/index2.html 11 Ibid 12http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs297/en/ 13 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs355/en/ 14 Ibid 15 Ibid 16 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/ 17 Ibid 18 http://www.who.int/gho/epidemic_diseases/cholera/en/ 19 http://www.who.int/gho/epidemic_diseases/cholera/cases_text/en/ 20 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs104/en/ 21 http://www.who.int/gho/immunization/en/ Show Less
In 2017, it is estimated that 821 million people were suffering from hunger,1 124 million suffer from acute hunger.2 Additionally, a third of women worldwide are anaemic, affecting the lives of both them and their children.3 Seven and a half percent of all children around the world under the age of five are classified as wasting — a low weight to height ratio. Approximately 875,000 deaths were attributed to wasting in 2013.4 In 2017, the prevalence of undernourishment (PoU) reached 10.9 percent.5 In Africa alone, the PoU is 21 percent, and in South America, the PoU is 5.0 percent.6 Though the world is equipped with enough food for its population one third of people are malnourished.7 Ninety eight percent of the world’s undernourished population lives Read More in developing nations.8 Asia has over 515 million hungry people, Sub-Saharan Africa has 236.5 million and Latin America has 32.3 million.9 60 percent of the world’s hungry population is comprised of women.10 One hundred sixty one million people worldwide today use untreated surface water, and 150 million of those live in rural areas.11 Around a third of the world’s food is lost or wasted annually — 1.3 billion tons — including 35 percent of all fish and seafood, and 45 percent of fruits and vegetables produced for human consumption.12 Show Less
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental disorder very common in children, typically characterized by a lack of focus or attention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. ADHD has no diagnostic lab tests. Diagnoses are gathered via the observations of family, friends and teachers. Over 8 percent of children in the United States have ADHD while the adult prevalence rate is just 2.5 percent.1 More than 6 million Americans ages 4 to 17 have been diagnosed with ADHD, and the rates vary by region. Prevalence rates in the Midwest are higher than those in western states. Kentucky has the highest rates of ADHD while Nevada has the lowest rates.2 There is currently no known cause of ADHD. However, there is evidence that genetics play a role in the prevalence, Read More as three of four children with ADHD have a family member with the condition.3 Show Less
One percent of the world falls has autism spectrum disorder — over 120 million people — and one in every 59 children born in the United States are on the autism spectrum.1 Over 3.5 million Americans have an autism spectrum disorder, and it is the fastest growing developmental disability.2 Autism presents itself differently in every individuals, and as such, requires unique services and treatment for every case.3 Thirty five percent of young adults ages 19 to 23 with autism do not receive postsecondary education, or have employment.4 Adult services for those with autism cost $175-196 billion annually in the United States. However, this cost can be reduced by 66 percent through early intervention.5
Neurological disorders include dementia, epilepsy, headache disorders, multiple sclerosis, neuroinfections, Parkinson’s disease, stroke and traumatic brain injuries. The most recent data from the World Health Organization estimates that 1 billion people around the world are affected by some form of neurological disorder, and 6.8 million deaths are a result of neurological disorders each year.1 The three most common neurological disorders are: Migraines Alzheimer’s Disease Dementia2
Kidney disease is characterized by a loss of kidney function over time, often months or years.1 Chronic kidney disease, untreated, can progress to end-stage kidney failure, with routine kidney dialysis as the only treatment. End-stage kidney disease is fatal without dialysis treatment.2 End-stage kidney disease is also known as end-stage renal disease, affecting over 650,000 individuals in the United States each year, and an estimated 2 million around the world.3 In a recent Global Burden of Disease study, chronic kidney disease was found to be the 12th most common cause of death worldwide, resulting in 1.1 million deaths annually. Chronic kidney disease mortality rates rose over 30 percent in the last decade.4 Obesity is a major contributor to kidney disease, as it also increases an individual’s risk Read More of hypertension and diabetes. Chronic kidney disease is largely preventable through a healthy diet and exercise.5 However, globally, many deaths related to kidney disease are due to lack of access to dialysis services. Studies project that the need for dialysis services will double between 2010 and 2030; in 2010, 2.62 million people worldwide used dialysis services.6 In 2015, treating chronic kidney disease cost the United States $64 billion in Medicare expenses. Treating end-stage kidney disease cost $34 billion.7 Show Less
Eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and eating disorder not otherwise specified (EDNOS) are mental illnesses, and while they are treatable,1 have the highest mortality rate of any other mental illness in the United States.2 An eating disorder is characterized by sustained periods of unhealthy dieting or eating, and can be accompanied by purging — by self-induced vomiting, or abuse of laxatives — or binge-eating.3 Nearly 30 million people — both men and women, of many ages — have an eating disorder in the United States.4
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the colon or rectum. Studies estimate that by 2030 the prevalence rate of colorectal cancer will have risen 60 percent to 2.2 million new cases,1 compared to 1.4 million new cases each year today,2 and over 1 million deaths. Colorectal cancer is more prevalent in low and middle income nations than high income nations, and has a higher mortality rate.3 Colorectal cancer is the third most prevalent cancer in the world. Hungary, South Korea and Slovakia have the highest national rates of colorectal cancer, with between 43.8 and 51.2 cases for every 100,000 people.4 It accounts for 700,000 cancer deaths worldwide each year. While the survival rate is 90 percent for colorectal cancer diagnosed at an early stage, the survival rate Read More is just 13 percent for those whose cancer has progressed to late stages.5 In the United States, colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer, and is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths. The lifetime risk for men developing colorectal cancer is 1 in 22, or 4.49 percent compared to women, whose risk is 1 in 24, or 4.15 percent.6 Show Less
Obstetric fistula is a tear between the birth canal and urinary tract. Between 50,000 and 100,000 women develop obstetric fistula each year, and an estimated 2 million women are currently living with the condition. Obstetric fistulas often cause women affected to be isolated, marginalized and suffer a variety of health problems such as urinary and fecal incontinence, infections and kidney disorders. The condition is largely a result of obstructed labor, a risk heightened the younger the mother is at her first birth.1 Women living in impoverished regions, or in cultures that link a woman’s status with her childbearing ability, are more likely to develop obstetric fistula. The condition greatly increases the risk of maternal mortality.2
Leukemia is a cancer affecting an individual’s bone marrow, blood cells or lymphatic system. Leukemia has a 64 percent survival rate, and 1,345,123 people are expected to be living with or in remission from leukemia in the United States.1 There were 437,033 new leukemia diagnoses worldwide in 2018.2 It is the 13th most common cancer in the world out of 34 cancers identified by the World Cancer Research Fund. It accounts for 2.6 percent of all cancer diagnoses3 compared to 10 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the U.S.4 There are a number of forms of leukemia, including acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL), acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Other less common forms of leukemia are hairy cell leukemia, myelodysplastic Read More syndromes and myeloproliferative disorders.5 Show Less
Breast cancer most often begins in the lobules or ducts, the tissue used to produce and carry milk in breasts.1 In 2018, there were 2 million new cases of breast cancer reported worldwide.1 Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in the world, and accounts for 25 percent of all cancer diagnoses in women.2 Worldwide, breast cancer mortality increased by 14 percent since 2008.3 The nations with the highest occurrence rate of breast cancer include Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, France, Lebanon, Australia, the United Kingdom, Italy and New Zealand.4 In the United States, breast cancer is the most commonly occurring cancer among women.5 Currently there are 3.5 million breast cancer survivors living in the U.S.6
Skin cancer can be divided into two subcategories, melanoma and non-melanoma. Basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma are the two most common types of non-melanoma skin cancer — 90 percent of all skin cancers. Melanoma accounts for just 4 percent of all cases of skin cancer.1 Globally, there were 232,000 new cases of skin cancer in 2012, however, non-melanoma skin cancers are not included in the majority of international data.2 There are approximately two to three million cases of non-melanoma skin cancer and 132,000 cases of melanoma skin cancer each year worldwide.3 Australia has the highest rate of melanoma, with an average occurrence rate of 33.6 cases per 100,000 people. New Zealand has the second highest rate of melanoma, with 33.3 cases per 100,000 people, and Read More Norway is next with 29.6 per 100,000 people.4 Show Less
Arthritis is a condition in the joints characterized by joint pain, stiffness, swelling or redness caused by inflammation, and can affect more than one joint.1 The Arthritis Foundation estimates that 54 million adults in the United States have arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, and the disorder is more common in those who have another medical condition than those who have none. It is commonly found in those who have heart disease or diabetes.2 Nearly 50 percent of adults who have heart disease also have arthritis.3 Globally, between 0.3 percent and 1 percent of the world population has arthritis. In developed nations, women are more likely to have arthritis than men. Rheumatoid arthritis, which stems from an autoimmune attack on the joints,4 commonly Read More hits between 20 and 40 years old.5 Osteoarthritis, however, results from a loss of cartilage between joints, and typically has a later onset than that of rheumatoid arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis affects approximately 1.3 million Americans while osteoarthritis affects approximately 27 million Americans.6 Show Less
Cleft lip or palate, otherwise known as orofacial defects, occur when the tissue in an infant’s lip or palate does not join together completely before birth, leaving a gap where the tissue should have closed. There is no known cause of cleft lip or palate. However, if the mother smokes, is diabetic, or takes medicine for epilepsy, there is a higher likelihood of the infant having cleft lip or palate. Both conditions can cause difficulty in the child’s eating, breathing and speaking, and can also increase the likelihood of ear infections. Cleft lip and palate are both treatable conditions through surgery. Some cases may require multiple surgeries.1 Worldwide, there is a case of cleft lip, palate, cleft lip and palate or limited cleft palate for Read More 1 in every 700 births.2 Show Less
Down syndrome is a condition caused by additional genetic material in chromosome 21, typically due to nondisjunction, or the failure of certain genetic material to separate during fetal development. The cause of nondisjunction is unknown.1 However, the likelihood of a child having Down syndrome rises from a 1 in 350 chance when the mother is 35, to a 1 in 30 chance when the mother is 45.2 Down syndrome results in both physical and cognitive disability, and can cause those with the condition to be more susceptible to heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease and leukemia. A range of 60 to 80 percent of children with the condition also have hearing impairments. Worldwide, it is estimated that 3,000 to 5,000 children are born with Down syndrome Read More each year. In the United States alone, approximately 250,000 families have an individual in their household with Down syndrome.3 However, due to advancements in medicine such as antibiotics and corrective heart surgeries, 80 percent of adults with Down syndrome reach 60 years of age. In the early 20th century, the life expectancy of a child with Down syndrome was 9 years old.4 Show Less
Alzheimer’s disease was not recognized nor researched until the early 20th century. Today, scientists know that the disease can be present in an individual many years before the first symptoms surface. Alzheimer’s disease is the highest occurring cause of dementia. Early symptoms include forgetfulness, difficulty in remembering small details, lack of motivation and depression. As the disease progresses, those with Alzheimer’s disease can experience impaired communication and judgment, confusion and more drastic changes in behavior.1 Ultimately, Alzheimer’s disease is fatal, and there is no known cure.2 Currently, an estimated 50 million people worldwide are living with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.3 Finland, the United States and Canada have the highest rates of dementia-related deaths in the world.4 Of those around the world living with dementia, the majority Read More are from middle income nations, with global prevalence projected to rise 204 percent between 2018 and 2050, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).5 Show Less
Public health is the practice of teaching and training communities in hygiene, nutrition, and basic healthcare, as well as disease control and detection, in order to improve the overall well-being of a community. Public health is preventative, and focuses on predicting and preventing health problems before they occur rather than managing the issues retroactively. However, public health organizations, such as the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC), are the ones who address widespread health crises after they hit.12 The American Public Health Association cites Ebola, health equity, gun violence, substance misuse, suicide, maternal and child health to be public health issues of particular concern worldwide.2
Epilepsy is a chronic brain disorder that causes seizures, and it is one of the most prevalent neurological disorders in the world, affecting an estimated 50 million people worldwide. The majority of those with epilepsy live in low or middle income nations, 80 percent of the epileptic population. Approximately three quarter of that population lacks access to the care they need to address their symptoms. Seizures resulting from epilepsy can vary in frequency and intensity, with some epileptic individuals experiencing a seizure once annually, while others may experience several seizures each day. The seizures result from an excess in electrical emissions in specific lobes of the brain. Some seizures can result in loss of consciousness, injuries from spasming and loss of control of bowels and bladder. Read More Seizures can be partial, affecting isolated parts of the body, or generalized, affecting the entire body. Not all seizure episodes result in a epileptic diagnosis. Epilepsy is defined as having two or more “unprovoked” or unexplained seizures.1 Show Less
Schizophrenia is classified as a chronic mental disorder, and often causes severe social, mental and physical disabilities in those diagnosed with it. The disease causes disoriented thinking and behavior, hallucinations and twists the individual’s perception of both themselves and reality. Those with schizophrenia are between two and three times more likely to die early of a preventable illness: cardiovascular disease, infections or metabolic disease than those without schizophrenia. Fifty percent of those with schizophrenia are not receiving proper medical and psychological care, and 90 percent of those not receiving care live in low or middle income nations.1 More males have schizophrenia than females — 12 million males compared to 9 million females.2 There is currently no known cause or cure for schizophrenia, though it is treatable, Read More as there are medication and therapies that can alleviate symptoms.3 Show Less