10 Facts About Global Health

facts about global health
Global health issues are being addressed now more than ever, here is a list of 10 facts about global health that show how far the world has come and how much more progress needs to be made.


Around the world, cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death. They account for approximately 30 percent of all deaths. At least 80 percent of these deaths that occur prematurely could be prevented by adhering to a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity and avoiding use of tobacco products.


Improving sanitation, water supply, personal hygiene and management of water resources could prevent nearly 10 percent of diseases and 6.3 percent of all deaths around the world.


Currently, approximately 6.6 million children under the age of 5 die annually. By the year 2025, it is estimated that there will still be five million deaths among this age group. Ninety-seven percent of these deaths will occur in developing countries, and most will be a result of infectious diseases like pneumonia and diarrhea or malnutrition.


Sixty-five percent of people around the world live in a country where overweight and obesity kills more people than underweight.


It is estimated that 39.5 million people worldwide are living with HIV or AIDS. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for about 70 percent of the cases.


There are about 200 million women around the world who do not have access to effective family planning methods, like reproductive information and care services, despite the desire to use these resources. If these resources can be more widely accessed, unplanned pregnancy rates would drop, unsafe abortions would become less frequent and maternal and infant deaths would be reduced significantly.


Preterm birth, birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy, is the most common cause of infant mortality globally. Fifteen million babies are born preterm every year and more than one million of them will die.


The global average life expectancy has increased significantly over the past 20 years. The overall average is now 70 years; in low-income countries it is 62 and in high-income countries it is 79.


Eight hundred women die everyday due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.


The global population today is made up of 613 million children under age five, 1.7 billion children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 19, 3.1 billion adults between the ages of 20 and 64, and 390 million elderly over the age of 65.

— Hannah Cleveland

Sources: WHO 1, WHO 2, Facing the Future, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation