WHO: Urgent health challenges for the next decade (2)

15 January, 2020

In my last message I said "I have been unable to access the list itself and am contacting WHO staff for assistance. I shall forward the list to you as soon as I can." I now realise that I was confused by the method of displying the 'list', which is in fact a carousel of 13 images, each of which has a heading and text below it. There is no displayed 'list' in the sense of a numbered or bulleted list.

https://www.who.int/news-room/photo-story/photo-story-detail/urgent-heal...

For easy reference, here is the list of WHO's 13 'urgent health challenges for the next decade':

1. Elevating health in the climate debate

2. Delivering health in conflict and crisis

3. Making health care fairer

4. Expanding access to medicines

5. Stopping infectious diseases

6. Preparing for epidemics

7. Protecting people from dangerous products

8. Investing in the people who defend our health

9. Keeping adolescents safe

10. Earning public trust

11. Harnessing new technologies

12. Protecting the medicines that protect us

13. Keeping health care clean

I would add a 14th 'urgent health challenges for the next decade': Improving the availability and use of reliable healthcare information.

We know that the majority (at least 5 million per year) of avoidable deaths worldwide are due to poor quality of health care (http://www.hifa.org/dgroups-rss/revisiting-lancet-paper-mortality-due-lo...).

We know that healthcare providers have a range of basic needs that must be met to empower them to deliver care (and this applies to every level of care, from the home through the health system).

We know that the ability to access reliable healthcare information is fundamental: a sine qua non for effective care.

What we don't know is the exact quantitative contribution of (lack of) reliable healthcare information, although every indication is that this is huge and arguably the *single most important cause of poor quality care and avoidable death and suffering worldwide*. It is probable that the assertion made by Sir Muir Gray and Anne Brice back in 2003 is as true today as it was then: "The application of the knowledge we already possess has greater potential to improve the health of patients than any drug or technology likely to be developed in the next decade"

Best wishes, Neil

Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org

HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org