Global Health Observatory (GHO) data

Public health and environment

Mortality and burden of disease from unhealthy environments: In 2012, 12.6 million people died as a result of living or working in an unhealthy environment, representing 23% of all deaths. When accounting for both death and disability, the fraction of the global burden of disease due to the environment is 22%. In children under five years, up to 26% of all deaths could be prevented, if environmental risks were removed. 68% of these attributable deaths and 56% of attributable DALYs could be estimated with evidence-based comparative risk assessment methods, the impacts of other environmental exposures were assessed through expert opinion.

WHO report | Health in 2015: from MDGs to SDGs

Progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) has been remarkable, including, for instance, poverty reduction, education improvements and increased access to safe drinking water. Globally, the HIV, tuberculosis and malaria epidemics were “turned around”, and child mortality and maternal mortality decreased greatly (53% and 44%, respectively, since 1990) despite falling short of the MDG targets. The SDGs set a new health goal (“Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages”) with a broad set of targets for 2030. The target on universal health coverage (UHC) provides the platform for integrated action across all 13 health targets.

Reducing child mortality to achieve MDG 4

Overall, substantial progress has been made towards achieving MDG 4. The number of under-five deaths worldwide has declined from 12.7 (12.6, 13.0) million in 1990 to 5.9 (5.7, 6.4) million in 2015. This translates into 19 000 fewer children dying every day in 2015 than in 1990. The remarkable decline in under-five mortality since 2000 has saved the lives of 48 million children under age five – children who would not have survived to see their fifth birthday if the under-five mortality rate from 2000 onward remained at the same level as in 2000. Yet, despite these substantial gains, progress is insufficient to achieve the MDG 4 target.

Tuberculosis (TB)

Tuberculosis (TB) is contagious and airborne. It ranks alongside HIV as a leading cause of death worldwide. 9.6 million people are estimated to have fallen ill with TB in 2014: 5.4 million men, 3.2 million women and 1.0 million children. An estimated 1.2 million people living with HIV developed TB in 2014. There have been major advances in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of TB: mortality has fallen 47% since 1990. Effective diagnosis and treatment of TB saved an estimated 43 million lives between 2000 and 2014. Despite these advances and despite the fact that nearly all cases can be cured, TB remains one of the world’s biggest threats. In 2014, TB killed some 1.5 million people (1.1 million HIV-negative and 0.4 million HIV-positive). The toll comprised 890 000 men, 480 000 women and 140 000 children. One in 3 HIV deaths is due to TB.

fact buffet

Mortality linked to environment

23%of all estimated global deaths are linked to the environment

Preventing disease through healthy environments: a global assessment of the burden of disease from environmental risks

Child mortality

5.9 millionchildren under age five died in 2015,
nearly 16 000 every day

Under-five mortality

TB incidence

9.6 millionnew TB cases in 2014

Number of TB cases

The Global Health Observatory theme pages provide data and analyses on global health priorities. Each theme page provides information on global situation and trends highlights, using core indicators, database views, major publications and links to relevant web pages on the theme.



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