The world has seen quite a number of achievements in the health sector. A number of countries even among the developing countries have been meeting their millennium development goals. HIV medicines have been availed in these countries than ever. Despite the achievements, there are still global health issues that affect the low, the middle and the high-income countries. According to the conventional way of categorizing disorders, tuberculosis, malaria, diarrheal diseases, heart diseases, cancer etc are what cause death and other disabilities but in real sense these pathologies does not kill us but rather the factors that lead to these pathologies kill us. A report by the WHO, 2009 in a publication titled global health issues indicated that there were about 24 physiological, environmental, economic and behavioral health risks globally. These 24 risks factors caused more than forty percent of world’s deaths. From the 24 risks, the five leading cause of deaths were high blood pressure, high blood glucose, tobacco use and overweight and physical inactivity. The top five burden disease included unsafe sex, childhood obesity, alcohol use, unsafe water sanitation and hygiene together with high blood pressure. The major health risks were found to cause a high percentage of deaths in high-income countries with the use of tobacco and high blood pressure leading while high blood glucose was the least cause of death among the major health risks. In middle-income countries high blood pressure was the highest cause of deaths with a percentage of 17.9 followed by tobacco use than overweight and obesity, physical inactivity and lastly alcohol use. In low-income countries or the developing countries, childhood underweight was found to be the major health risk with about 7.8 percent deaths followed by high blood pressure, the unsafe sex, unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene and finally high blood pressure.
However, these risks were influenced by other factors such as behavioral/lifestyle risks played an important role in each of the country grouping. In low-income countries, the deaths caused by childhood underweight are attributed to the persistent poverty that exists in these countries. Most families cannot afford their daily meals and relies on governments and well wishers. These children are faced with malnutrition, and most of them die in their early years. The unsafe sex risks are also prevalent in these countries as a result of poverty and unemployment. To lower these risks world heath organizations and respective governments should educate men and women on the dangers of unprotected sex and provide condoms. Other strategies aimed at lowering poverty and improving women status should be developed as the keys to success. People should also be convinced not to stop smoking and drinking alcohol. In developed countries, citizens need to be advised on the change of lifestyles and behaviors. People should eat healthy foods and exercise more to reduce the risks of overweight and high blood pressure deaths.
Another major health issues are environmental management. Most of the diseases that are causing deaths globally each day are environmental related. In their article on global health Kelvin and David observed that in high-income countries like New Zealand, environmentalism was determined by increasing scarcity of resources, transparency due to the impact of information technology and shifts in consumer demand in preference on organizations with sound environmental performance. The new trend is shaping the practices in private and public sectors in most developed countries. But in developing countries this problem eminent as people are dying from sanitation and drainage related diseases like cholera and diarrhea.
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Skolnik, R. (2010) Global Health 101. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers. *