Global tuberculosis report 2016

WHO has published a global TB report every year since 1997. The main aim of the report is to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the TB epidemic, and of progress in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the disease at global, regional and country levels.

This is done in the context of recommended global TB strategies and targets endorsed by WHO’s Member States and broader development goals set by the United Nations.

Download the full report on Global Tuberculosis from the who.int website

Where is it hardest to be a girl?

A girl under 15 is married every seven seconds; others are forced to live a life of modern-day slavery. Around the world, girls are at risk of trafficking, forced labour and sexual violence – especially if a war, earthquake or flood tears their homes apart.

Save the Children has produced a report that throws new light on the many discriminations faced by girls in 144 countries around the world. They have also produced an interactive map enabling readers to compare and contrast the quality of girls’ lives in different countries.

Use the map showing where it is hardest to be a girl on the savethechildren.org website

Alcohol-attributable deaths in Europe

For the first time, trends in alcohol consumption and related mortality have been examined systematically for all countries in the WHO European Region for an extended period. WHO/Europe’s new report “Public health successes and missed opportunities. Trends in alcohol consumption and attributable mortality in the WHO European Region, 1990–2014” shows that over the past 25 years alcohol-attributable deaths increased by 4%.

The European Region ranks highest globally in terms of adult per capita alcohol consumption, and the level and patterns of drinking have contributed substantially to mortality from cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancer, liver cirrhosis, and unintentional and intentional injury.

More information and the full report on Alcohol consumption and public health can be downloaded from the euro.who.int website

Ambient air pollution: A global assessment

Air pollution has become a growing concern in the past few years, with an increasing number of acute air pollution episodes in many cities worldwide. As a result, data on air quality is becoming increasingly available and the science underlying the related health impacts is also evolving rapidly.

This report presents a summary of methods and results of the latest World Health Organization(WHO) global assessment of ambient air pollution exposure and the resulting burden of disease.

Download the full report on Ambient Air Pollution from the who.int website

European Core Health Statistics

The European Core Health Indicators (ECHI) give a broad picture of the state of health and health care in the European Union.
They are regularly updated and broken down by gender, age group or socio-economic status when relevant.
They are grouped –
into 5 main chapters:
  • demographic and social-economic situation
  • health status
  • health determinants
  • health services
  • health promotion

and under 5 policy areas:

  • health services and health care
  • ageing and population
  • health determinants
  • diseases and mental health
  • health in all policies

For more information about European Core Health Indicators on the ec.europa.eu website

European health information at your fingertips.

WHO’s health policy for Europe, ‘Health 2020‘, aims to improve health and well-being, reduce health inequities and ensure universal health coverage. The evidence-based and peer-reviewed policy has been embraced by all 53 Member States in the WHO European Region and is vital as Europe is faced with many different challenges that impact our health and demand different ways of thinking and behaving.

The WHO website has a European Health Information Gateway which provides easy access to health data in the WHO European Region and includes an infographic showing how different countries are doing, ranked against the targets and indicators in ‘Health 2020’.

To access the Gateway on European Health on the eu.who.int website

Hepatitis – the “silent killer”

Hepatitis is often called the silent killer because globally 95% of people with hepatitis are unaware of their infection as most sufferers show no symptoms.

Over 13 million people in the European Region are estimated to be living with hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection, and over 15 million with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. More than 400 people across the WHO European Region die from causes related to viral hepatitis every day.

Hepatitis B and C usually occur as a result of blood-to-blood contact with infected body fluids: for example, from blood transfusions or invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment. They can also be transmitted through sexual contact, although this is less common with hepatitis C.

There is an action plan to address viral hepatitis in the WHO European Region and eliminate it as a public health threat by 2030.

To read more about the plan to eliminate viral hepatitis on the euro.who.int website

Pharmaceutical Expenditure And Policies

Across OECD countries, pharmaceutical spending was around US$800 billion in 2013, accounting for about 20% of total health spending on average (hospital consumption and retail).

This paper ‘Pharmaceutical expenditure and policies: past trends and future challenges‘ examines the drivers of recent spending trends, highlighting differences across therapeutic classes. While the consumption of medicines continues to increase and to push pharmaceutical spending up, cost-containment policies and patent expiries of a number of top-selling products have exerted downward pressure on pharmaceutical expenditures in recent years.

The paper also looks at emerging challenges for policy makers in the management of pharmaceutical spending. The proliferation of high-cost specialty medicines will be a major driver of health spending growth in the coming years. While some of these medicines bring great benefits to patients, others provide only marginal improvements. This challenges the efficiency of pharmaceutical spending.

To download the paper on pharmaceutical expenditure from the oecd-ilibrary.org website

OECD Health Statistics 2016

The online database ‘OECD health statistics 2016‘ has been released and offers the most comprehensive source of comparable statistics on health and health systems across OECD countries.

It is an essential tool to carry out comparative analyses and draw lessons from international comparisons of diverse health systems. It includes data on biotechnology, cancer, health care, health spending, health insurance, fitness, dementia, disability, obesity, smoking, genetics and mortality.

For more information on Health Statistics 2016 on the oecd.org website.

Assessing quality of care

The expert group on health systems performance assessment (HSPA) provides participating countries with a forum to exchange experiences on the use of HSPA at a national level. It also supports national policy-makers by identifying tools and methodologies for developing HSPA.

It is composed of European countries’ health authorities as well as international organisations and has recently published its first report: ‘So what? Strategies across Europe to assess quality of care’ 

The report focuses on quality of care and is based on the exchange of experiences and knowledge among countries and with international organisations between 2014 and 2015. It sets out a selection of country cases, analyses them and draws general conclusions. The aim is to provide useful recommendations for policy makers who want to design, set up, run and evaluate a system to assess quality of care.

To download the report on strategies to assess quality of care on the ec.europa.eu website