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Islamabad

May 19, 2017

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Half of all deaths now have a recorded cause: WHO

Half of all deaths now have a recorded cause: WHO

Islamabad

Of the estimated 56 million deaths globally in 2015, 27 million were registered with a cause of death, states ‘World Health Statistics 2017: Monitoring Health for the Sustainable Development Goals,’ one of the annual flagship publications of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Almost half of all deaths globally are now recorded with a cause, the publication states, highlighting improvements countries have made on collecting vital statistics and monitoring progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2005, only about a third of deaths had a recorded cause.

Several countries have made significant strides towards strengthening the data they collect, including China, Turkey and the Islamic Republic of Iran, where 90% of deaths are now recorded with detailed cause-of-death information, compared with 5% in 1999.

The ‘World Health Statistics’ compiles data from the organisation’s 194 Member States on 21 health-related SDG targets, providing a snapshot of both gains and threats to the health of the world’s people. While the quality of health data has improved significantly in recent years, many countries still do not routinely collect high-quality data to monitor health-related SDG indicators.

The report includes new data on progress towards universal health coverage. Those data show that globally, 10 measures of essential health service coverage have improved since 2000. Coverage of treatment for HIV and bed nets to prevent malaria have increased the most, from very low levels in 2000. Steady increases have also been seen in access to antenatal care and improved sanitation, while gains in routine child immunization coverage from 2000 to 2010 slowed somewhat between 2010 and 2015.

Access to services is just one dimension of universal health coverage; how much people pay out of their own pockets for those services is the other. The most recent data from 117 countries show that an average of 9.3% of people in each country spend more than 10% of their household budget on health care, a level of spending that is likely to expose a household to financial hardship.

 

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