Before 2020, the global governments kept their focus on underlying financial, economic, and healthcare issues. However, the killer virus has plunged the world into a new set of challenges. Many of the global health issues that we are currently facing or will face are the culmination of the pandemic’s “aftershocks.” Perhaps, from learning to deal with extreme healthcare challenges like the recent pandemic to providing basic healthcare facilities in conflicted areas, the sector still has a lot to cope with.
The coronavirus pandemic didn’t come off as a surprise to many experts. Many believed that the possibility of a highly infectious airborne virus engulfing the world wasn’t entirely possible. Although, public health policies have helped countless people and saved thousands of lives. Still, many countries faced a lack of adequate planning since they were already mitigating through challenges other than health.
It is evident that with the rise in worldwide connectivity, the impact of an adverse event like the ongoing pandemic travels from one region to another and affects the most vulnerable disproportionately. Health disparities further aggravate the situation. At a time when the United States was already dealing with epidemics like dengue fever, zika, and chikungunya, COVID-19 further deteriorated the condition.
Today, many educational institutions that offer education programs such as an online MPH epidemiology degree emphasize the importance of researching and devising suitable strategies for the health sector. These institutions equip students with the necessary skills required for policy-making regarding valuable investments to control health vulnerabilities.
Notably, identifying these issues at the right time is the first step to mitigate the challenges without bearing enormous losses. In this article, we’ve listed some alarming global health issues, which, if left unaddressed, might cause further troubles like that of the recent pandemic.
1. Social Isolation and Mental Health Issues
Undoubtedly, social isolation is one of the major risk factors behind the prevailing mental health crisis. Also, it is a significant contributor to increased mortality and morbidity. Perhaps, in the most extreme cases, people undergoing social isolation tend to prefer self-harm or even end their lives through suicidal attempts. It is indeed a more significant burden on the healthcare sector worldwide.
According to a survey conducted in 2020, approximately 60 percent of Americans reported experiencing social isolation in 2019. The ratio is likely to increase in the future. However, the frequency of this percentage varies concerning age, as the same survey mentioned that in 2020, 79 percent of people from Generation Z experienced social loneliness. Others include 71 percent millennials and 50 percent boomers.
It is further identified as the root cause of mental health issues, high blood pressure, heart diseases and may result in causing death. Hence, there’s a need to educate more and more people regarding effective strategies to control the issue.
2. Providing Advance Healthcare to All
The gap between the rich and the poor is utterly heartbreaking regarding providing access to basic healthcare facilities. Low to middle-income countries often go through significant consequences due to a lack of funds and limited resources in treating diseases such as diabetes and cancer. Not having access to quality healthcare services for all is an ongoing problem. Notably, it is more likely to remain the same in the future if the world doesn’t respond aggressively to it.
Leading world organizations should take up the responsibility of strengthening the healthcare systems in such countries. It is best to facilitate them by giving them access to advance healthcare facilities and monetary resources.
3. Difficulty Providing Health in Crisis and Conflict
There is often little to no access to healthcare for people fleeing from war and conflict. Containing outbreaks and managing the aftermath is challenging enough but doing it in a hostile environment is a mammoth task. However, the world mustn’t ignore the most vulnerable people who are victims of international or national conflicts and crises.
Strict policies should be in place by international bodies for the safety of medical workers working in such environments. Also, there’s a need to make essential measures to ease their access to medicines and treatments for people affected by conflict.
4. Eradicating the Spread of Infectious Diseases
Infectious diseases such as HIV, viral hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted diseases are alarming health concerns as it kills approximately four million people each year. One of the major risk factors behind the spread of these diseases is lack of hygiene, weak healthcare systems, insufficient health finances, and lack of knowledge regarding ways to control them. With the rise in the spread of such infectious diseases, it is essential to take the necessary measures to prevent disease spread.
Every individual worldwide deserves the best possible healthcare facilities. It is the job of healthcare organizations to address issues that might affect the delivery of good healthcare to the masses in the present and future. There’s an obvious need to address the global health issues mentioned above to prepare for a healthy future.