WHO gauge COVID-19 cost 336 million years of life worldwide


Deaths from COVID-19 robbed people worldwide of a gauge 336.8 million years of life, according to new calculations from the World Health Organization that aim to demonstrate the true extent of the pandemic.
The WHO attributes 14.9 million deaths to the coronavirus in 2020 and 2021 alone. The organization calculated that, on average, a life was compressed by 22 years each time.
The estimates are included in the WHO’s analytical yearbook, published Friday.
According to the WHO, the COVID-19 pandemic also hurt the global fight against other infectious diseases because vaccination and health services were disrupted.
As a result, vaccinations against measles, tetanus and other diseases have declined, while malaria and tuberculosis have increased, according to the WHO.
The WHO also expressed concern that the annual number of deaths from noncommunicable illnesses will increase to around 77 million per year by the middle of this century, a nearly 90% increase from 2019.
Even before 2019, the WHO recorded significant increases in fatal heart, respiratory and cancer diseases. The trend is mainly driven by the rise in world population and life expectancy since those diseases more often develop in those who live to be older.

However, the U.N. health agency emphasized that at the individual level, the likelihood of dying from such diseases has decreased for people worldwide in recent decades.
WHO is releasing the 2023 sheet of its annual World Health Statistics. It describes new figures, the crash of the COVID-19 pandemic and the latest data on progress towards the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The description with data up to 2022 underscores a stagnation of health advances on critical health gauges in New years compared with trends seen during 2000-2015. It also alerts us to the fatten threat of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and climate change and calls for a coordinated and strengthened reply.

COVID-19 cost in astray lives and health progress

The report documents modernize statistics on the pandemic’s toll on global health, contributing to the ongoing reduction in progress towards the SDGs. During 2020-2021, COVID-19 resulted in a staggering 336.8 million years of life lost disparity. This equates to a mean of 22 years of life stray for every excess death, abruptly and sadly cutting short the lives of millions. Since 2000, we have seen significant maternal and child health advances, with deaths descending by one-third and one-half, respectively. The incidence of contagious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis (T.B.) and malaria also decreases, along with a lowered chance of premature deaths from NCDs and injuries. Together, these contributed to an escalation in global life anticipation from 67 years in 2000 to 73 years in 2019.
However, the pandemic has put many health-related indicators further off-track and contributed to an imbalance in access to high-quality health care, routine booster and financial protection. As a result, improving trends in malaria and T.B. have been reversed, and fewer people were treated for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
“The World Health Statistics is WHO’s annual check-up on the world’s health. The description sends a stark message on the threat of noncommunicable diseases, which take an immense and growing toll on lives, livelihoods, health systems, communities, economies and societies,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “The report calls for substantial growth in health and health systems investment to get back on the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals.”

NCDs ̶ an ever-grow health threat for future generations

Despite overall health progress, the share of deaths caused annually by NCDs has grown consistently, claiming nearly three-quarters of all lives lost yearly.
If this trend continues, NCDs are predicted to account for about 86% of the 90 million annual deaths by mid-century; consequently, 77 million will be due to NCDs – a nearly 90% increase in absolute numbers since 2019.
Stagnating progress calls for acceleration.
More recent trends show signs of a slowdown in the annual reduction rate (ARR) for many indicators. For example, the global maternal mortality ratio must decline by 11.6% annually between 2021 and 2030 to meet the SDG target. Similarly, the net reduction in T.B. prevalence from 2015 to 2021 was only one-fifth of the method to the 2025 milestone of WHO’s End T.B. Strategy.
Despite reduced subjection to many health risks – such as tobacco use, alcohol consumption, violence, unsafe water and sanitation, and child stunting – progress was inadequate, and subjection to some threats, such as air pollution, remains high.
Alarmingly, the prevalence of obesity arises with no immediate sign of reversal. Furthermore, enlarged access to essential health services has decelerated compared to pre-2015 gains, coupled with no significant progress in lessening financial hardship due to healthcare costs. This drastically limits our capability to achieve Universal Health Coverage by 2030.

About the author

Olivia Wilson

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