Washington: The World Health Organization (WHO) has listed out 10 global health threats for 2019, adding that millions of lives will be at risk if these threats are not addressed.
The United Nation's public health agency, thus, is starting a new five year strategic plan – the 13th General Programme of Work.
According to the WHO, the plan focuses on a triple billion target that includes ensuring 1 billion more people benefiting from access to universal health coverage, 1 billion more people being protected from health emergencies and 1 billion more people enjoying better health and well-being.
This year, air pollution is considered as the greatest environmental risk to health. Microscopic pollutants in the air can damage the lungs, heart and brain, killing 7 million people prematurely every year from diseases such as cancer, stroke, heart and lung ailments.
Non-communicable diseases that consist of ailments such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease, are collectively responsible for over 70 per cent of all deaths worldwide, or 41 million people every year, according to the statistics put out by the WHO.
The report, which the WHO put out on its website, further says the world is waiting to face another influenza pandemic. The WHO is constantly monitoring the circulation of influenza viruses to detect potential pandemic strains.
The mosquito-borne disease, dengue, which causes flu-like symptoms can also prove to be lethal this year and while the progress made against HIV is commendable, the epidemic continues to rage with nearly a million people dying from HIV/AIDS every year. The WHO plans to work with countries to support the introduction of self-testing technique for HIV so that more people living with the virus know their status and can receive treatment in time.