Good health is essential to human welfare and to sustained economic and social development. WHO Member States have set themselves the target of developing their health financing systems to ensure that all people can use health services, while being protected against financial hardship associated with paying for them.
Why a renewal of primary health care (PHC), and why
now, more than ever? The immediate answer is the
palpable demand for it from Member States – not just
from health professionals, but from the
political arena as well.
Globalization is putting the social
cohesion of many countries under stress,
and health systems, as key constituents
of the architecture of contemporary
societies, are clearly not performing as
well as they could and as they should.
People are increasingly impatient with
the inability of health services to deliver levels of national
coverage that meet stated demands and changing needs,
and with their failure to provide services in ways that
correspond to their expectations. Few would disagree that
health systems need to respond better – and faster – to the
challenges of a changing world. PHC can do that.
The World Health Report 2007 - A safer future: global public health security in the 21st century marks a turning point in the history of public health, and signals what could be one of the biggest advances in health security in half a century. It shows how the world is at increasing risk of disease outbreaks, epidemics, industrial accidents, natural disasters and other health emergencies which can rapidly become threats to global public health security. The report explains how the revised International Health Regulations (2005), which came into force this year, helps countries to work together to identify risks and act to contain and control them. The regulations are needed because no single country, regardless of capability or wealth, can protect itself from outbreaks and other hazards without the cooperation of others. The report says the prospect of a safer future is within reach - and that this is both a collective aspiration and a mutual responsibility.
The World Health Report 2006 - Working together for health contains an expert assessment of the current crisis in the global health workforce and ambitious proposals to tackle it over the next ten years, starting immediately. The report reveals an estimated shortage of almost 4.3 million doctors, midwives, nurses and support workers worldwide. The shortage is most severe in the poorest countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where health workers are most needed. Focusing on all stages of the health workers' career lifespan from entry to health training, to job recruitment through to retirement, the report lays out a ten-year action plan in which countries can build their health workforces, with the support of global partners.
The World Health Report 2005 – Make Every Mother and Child Count, says that this year almost 11 million children under five years of age will die from causes that are largely preventable. Among them are 4 million babies who will not survive the first month of life. At the same time, more than half a million women will die in pregnancy, childbirth or soon after. The report says that reducing this toll in line with the Millennium Development Goals depends largely on every mother and every child having the right to access to health care from pregnancy through childbirth, the neonatal period and childhood.
This year's report, changing history, calls for a comprehensive HIV/AIDS strategy that links prevention, treatment, care and long-term support. At a crucial moment in the pandemic's history, the international community has an unprecedented opportunity to alter its course and simultaneously fortify health systems for the enduring benefit of all.
This year's report examines the global health situation and some of the major threats to health in today's world. Drawing on many examples, the report suggests that major improvements in health for everybody are within reach, and that progress depends on collaboration among governments, international institutions, the private sector and civil society to build stronger health systems.
The 2002 report describes the amount of disease, disability and death in the world today that can be attributed to a selected number of the most important risks to human health. It also shows how much this burden could lowered in the next 20 years if the same risk factors were reduced.
The 2001 report focuses on the fact that mental health – neglected for far too long – is crucial to the overall well-being of individuals, societies and countries. The report advocates policies that are urgently needed to ensure that stigma and discrimination are broken down and that effective prevention and treatment are put in place.
This report examines and compares aspects of health systems around the world. It provides conceptual insights into the complex factors that explain how health systems perform, and offers practical advice on how to assess performance and achieve improvements with available resources.
This report describes the achievements of the 20th century and the challenges that are its legacy, and suggests approaches to making a difference for better health in the 21st century. The report says health should be at the heart of the global development agenda and stresses WHO's commitment to that objective.
In the year of WHO's 50th anniversary, this report examines health trends over the past five decades, the lessons learnt during those years, and predicts how life expectancy, health conditions and the tools to improve them will evolve up to the year 2025.
The focus of this report is on noncommunicable diseases. Together with infectious diseases, they form a double burden for developing countries, and are increasing rapidly among poorer populations. The report calls for integrated, comprehensive action that tackles all the determinants of ill-health.
The 1996 report focuses on infectious diseases - old and new - which together represent the world's leading cause of premature death. Examining these diseases by modes of transmission, the report calls for renewed efforts and extra resources to combat them and thereby help to reduce poverty and foster development.
The first World Health Report says that poverty wields a destructive and often deadly influence at every stage of human life. There are widening gaps between rich and poor, and between those with and without access to health care around the world. The report describes WHO's efforts to help bridge the gaps in global health.