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WHO releases health challenges for next decade


The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released urgent health challenges for the next decade, urging world leaders to invest more resources in core health priorities and systems.

In a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, the WHO said failure to invest adequately in health priorities would jeopardise lives, livelihoods, and economies around the world.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) report quoted the WHO as saying, “With the deadline for the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals quickly approaching, the United Nations General Assembly has underscored that the next 10 years must be the decade of action.


“This means advocating national funding to address gaps in health systems and health infrastructure, as well as providing support to the most vulnerable countries.

“Investing now will save lives and money later. We cannot afford the cost of doing nothing.”

The WHO added that health was an investment in the future, adding that countries invest heavily in protecting their citizens from terrorist attacks, but not against the attack of a virus and that this could be far more deadly and damaging economically and socially.

“A pandemic could bring economies and nations to their knees, which is why health security cannot be a matter for Ministries of Health alone,” it said.

WHO listed the health challenges as access to medicine, climate crisis, conflict, inequality, infectious diseases, epidemics, and harmful products. Others are health workers, adolescent health, public trust, new technologies, antibiotic resistance, and clean healthcare.


According to WHO, the challenges demand a swift response from more than just the health sector, saying everyone faces shared threats, hence, they have a shared responsibility to act.

It stressed that governments, communities and international agencies must collaborate to achieve these critical goals, adding that there were no shortcuts to a healthier world.

It said, “2030 is fast approaching and we must hold our leaders accountable for their commitments.”

WHO noted that climate crisis was a health crisis, saying air pollution kills an estimated seven million people yearly, adding that climate change causes more extreme weather events, exacerbates malnutrition and fuels the spread of infectious diseases such as malaria.

“The same emissions that cause global warming are responsible for more than one-quarter of deaths from a heart attack, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic respiratory disease.

“Leaders in the public and private sectors must work together to clean up our air and mitigate the health impacts of climate change,” it said, noting that keeping healthcare clean was another challenge and that one in four health facilities globally lacked basic water services.


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