World Medical News

World Seriously Falling Short of Essential Health Services Target by 2025 – WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has revealed that the world is only halfway to meeting its global target of extending essential health services to 1 billion more people without catastrophic out-of-pocket spending by 2025, Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.

More details in the following report:

In his annual address to the World Health Assembly, WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated that while 585 million more people will gain coverage of essential health services by 2025, this falls short of the ambitious 1 billion goal set by the United Nations’ public health agency.

“Although 30% of countries have made progress since 2000 on both service coverage and financial protection, at the global level, we’re going backwards on financial protection,” Dr. Tedros lamented. He noted that a staggering 2 billion people still face financial hardship due to out-of-pocket health expenses.

The WHO chief highlighted the organization’s multi-faceted response to 65 global health emergencies in 2023, including natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and armed conflicts in regions such as Türkiye, Syria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gaza, Haiti, Myanmar, Sudan, and Ukraine.

Despite these challenges, Dr. Tedros pointed to some encouraging developments, such as the over 50 new commitments made by countries at the UN General Assembly to expand access to essential health services and improve financial protection. He also noted that tobacco use is declining globally, with 19 million fewer smokers worldwide compared to two years ago.

Looking ahead, the WHO chief identified climate change as “perhaps the greatest threat to health of our time.” He noted that the COP28 climate conference in 2023 dedicated an entire day to health, with 149 countries signing a declaration on climate change and health, and over $1 billion pledged to address the health impacts of this global crisis.

Turning to conflict areas, Tedros said health professionals from around the world have supported the deployment of 18 teams in Gaza, who have provided almost 400 thousand consultations, performed more than 18,000 surgeries, and added more than 500 additional hospital beds.

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