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One billion people may get better health services by 2025: WHO says

A target of one billion additional people enjoying better health and well-being is likely to be met by 2025, driven primarily by improvements in air quality and access to water, sanitation and hygiene measures, according to the World Health Organization.

HQ Team

May 7, 2024: A target of one billion additional people enjoying better health and well-being is likely to be met by 2025, driven primarily by improvements in air quality and access to water, sanitation and hygiene measures, according to the World Health Organization.

About 30% of the nations are progressing in expanding universal health service coverage and offering financial security due to enhanced HIV service provision, according to a WHO report.

The Results Report 2023 of the WHO stated that in terms of emergency preparedness, while the coverage of vaccinations for high-priority pathogens has shown improvement compared to the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020–2021, it has not yet reached the levels seen before the pandemic.

“The world is off track to reach most of the triple billion targets and the health-related Sustainable Development Goals,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

Additional investment

“However, with concrete and concerted action to accelerate progress, we could still achieve a substantial subset of them. We aim to invest even more resources where they matter most—at the country level—while ensuring sustainable and flexible financing to support our mission.”

The world’s first malaria vaccine, RTS,S/AS01, was administered to more than two million children in Ghana, Kenya, and Malawi during the biennium, reducing mortality by 13% among children eligible for vaccination. WHO’s prequalification of a second vaccine, R21/Matrix-M, is expected to further boost malaria control efforts.

Fourteen countries eliminated at least one neglected tropical disease from 2022–2023. Bangladesh eliminated two of them, according to the report.

The first-ever all-oral treatment regimens for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis were made available in 2022, allowing the highest number of people with tuberculosis to get treatment since monitoring began almost 30 years ago.

REPLACE initiative

The report will be released ahead of the 2024 Seventy-seventh World Health Assembly, which runs from 27 May – 1 June 2024. WHO’s revised Programme Budget for 2022–2023 was $6726.1 million.

With 96% of WHO country offices providing 174 country reports on achievements, the report shows some progress towards 46 targets and highlights some challenges.

WHO’s REPLACE initiative, which aims to eliminate industrially-produced trans-fatty acids from the food supply, an additional 13 countries implemented best-practice policies, bringing the total to 53 countries.

More than 75% of people living with HIV are receiving antiretroviral therapy, with most achieving viral suppression — meaning they cannot infect others.

Tobacco use falls

Tobacco use is declining in 150 countries, 56 of which are on track to achieve the global target of reducing tobacco use by 2025.

An additional 29 countries developed multi-sectoral national action plans on antimicrobial resistance during the biennium 2022–2023, bringing the total to 178 countries.

Twenty-five countries have introduced the human papillomavirus vaccine to eliminate cervical cancer, bringing the total to 58 that have introduced the vaccine since WHO launched the initiative in 2020.

  At the same time, the report acknowledged significant disparities in health outcomes, disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and that persistent health workforce shortages require investments in education and employment.

As an element of sustainable financing, the Investment Round, which WHO will unveil soon will secure resources for WHO’s core work for the next four years starting 2025.

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