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WHO publishes key world health statistics

WHO today published World health statistics 2007, the most complete set of health statistics from its 193 Member States. This edition also highlights trends in 10 of the most closely watched global health statistics. It is the authoritative annual reference for a set of 50 health indicators in countries around the world.

In her speech on Tuesday to the World Health Assembly, the WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan, focused on the need for accurate evidence and up-to-date statistics as the basis for policy decisions. "Reliable health data and statistics are the foundation of health policies, strategies, and evaluation and monitoring," she said. "Evidence is also the foundation for sound health information for the general public... I regard the generation and use of health information as the most urgent need."

This volume, also available as an online database, should be on the shelves or the desktop of every health policy maker, researcher and journalist. It shows:

  • How much money is currently spent on health in comparison to regional burdens of disease;
  • Projected patterns of major causes of death for 2030;
  • Gaps in reliable information, and how estimates of maternal mortality are made;
  • The diseases that are killing people, and those that make them sick;
  • The extent to which people can access treatment, the major risk factors for ill-health, the human resources underpinning health systems; and
  • Health outcomes in the context of demographic and socioeconomic status of individual countries.

World health statistics 2007 is the official record of data produced by WHO’s technical programmes and regional offices. In publishing these statistics, WHO provides the global evidence base for improvements and continued challenges in global public health.

For more information, please contact:

Kenji Shibuya
Coordinator, Health Statistics and Evidence
WHO, Geneva
Telephone: +41 22 791 2370