Top 10 global healthcare problems & how to fight them

For years, scientists warned that a pandemic was overdue. Here are ten international health concerns and the plans being developed to fight them

10. Hunger 

The UN had previously hoped to end world hunger by 2030, but a tenth of the global population were undernourished in 2020, an increase due to disruptions from the pandemic.

As campaigners call for a reform of the food chain, Covid-19 might be the tipping point.

9. The next pandemic 

Over the duration of the pandemic, schedules of regular vaccinations, such as measles and polio, have been disrupted, leaving people vulnerable to outbreaks of these diseases. 

In addition, the pandemic has ironically strengthened the anti-vaccination movement across the world, from demand for individual freedom to distrust of medical organisations. Healthcare workers continue to fight misinformation.

8. A shortage of healthcare workers 

In the modern age, people are living longer lives. It is speculated that there will be a shortfall of 18 million healthcare workers available for the ageing population by 2030. 

However, artificial intelligence (AI) is on hand to help them complete time-consuming tasks, giving healthcare workers more time to attend to the personal care of patients.

7. Liver disease

Excessive drinking was also triggered by the pandemic, as boredom and misery took hold. Yet from 1970, liver disease deaths have risen by 400%. In the UK, this kills 40 people each day. 

Campaigners are working to reduce stigma surrounding alcoholism and encouraging more to seek help earlier.

6. Selfie wrist 

Excessive gadget use, taking selfies in particular, causes carpal tunnel syndrome. By moving the wrist inward, the blood supply is slowed to the median nerve, causing pain and numbness. It can be treated by refraining from selfies or doing hand and wrist exercises. Unlike most of these problems, this one requires self-discipline. 

5. Screen time

Excessive screen time for children can cause poor quality of sleep, interrupt their language development and decrease the time they spend actively playing and socialising. 

Parents and carers across the world must focus on strict limits for their children's screen-time, which can cause some of the following top five problems…

4. Mental Health

800,000 people take their lives themselves each year, yet mental health receives under 1% of global aid. Suicide remains the second leading cause of death for 15 to 29 year olds and half of all mental illnesses start by the age of 14. Campaigners are fighting stigma and demanding social media platforms do more to support vulnerable teenagers.

3. Air pollution 

Air pollution kills up to 7 million people worldwide each year. From cities thick with smog to second-hand smokers inside homes to unsafe industrial facilities, carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide are invisible killers. People who have regular contact with them die from stroke, heart disease and lung cancer, but an increase in electric vehicles will decrease this.

2. Dementia 

The terms ‘dementia’ and ‘Alzheimers’ are different things. Dementia is an umbrella term for mental decline, while Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia. 

An emotionally devastating disease for the family of a loved one who has it, Alzheimer's disease is caused by a build-up of the proteins amyloid and tau. This creates a concentration around brain cells, preventing them from working at full capacity. Research into how this can be prevented continues.

1. Obesity 

In 2016, almost two in seven adults on the planet were overweight, while 650 million were obese. Efforts to encourage healthy eating habits have been hampered by the availability of inexpensive junk food, full of salt and sugar.

2.8 million people die from being overweight every year, but following Covid–19, many are trying to improve their physical health. Schools are broadening their diet education and governments are putting laws in place to limit the presence of unhealthy food.

 

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