Within the United States, the largest population growth is expected to come from immigration and the development of the older adult population. Globalization has recently changed the lifestyles of developing countries, resulting in new chronic diseases. Monitoring the health of any country is essential for identifying and prioritizing public health and research needs. It is necessary to identify important information such as diseases and conditions and determine new health policy priority areas, funding, and programs (Holtz, 2012).
Some of the significant health issues facing the world population growth in the last 25 years cause the most significant challenges confronting progress in global health.
Pandemics: Pandemics are defined as global disease outbreaks. The current one that the world is battling is the multi-variant outbreaks of COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the deep disparities that persist between and within countries, some of which are being exacerbated and risk widening even further. On its heels is the monkeypox outbreak. The spread of monkeypox is questionable as it appears random and irregular. Catching COVID-19 increases the risk of developing other major health issues such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Infected patients are more likely to be diagnosed with life-threatening diseases. Vaccination efforts can help, but it’s critical to address issues at the source by addressing essential areas like health education and responsible agricultural practices.
Economic disparities and access to health care: Despite relentless progress in the field of medicine, communities across the world still lack access to primary health education and health care. This results in health disparities, such as high maternal and infant mortality rates, which are often related to geography.
Noncommunicable diseases: Heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and other noncommunicable diseases (NCD) account for 70% of all deaths worldwide. Together, heart disease and stroke, along with other cardiovascular diseases, are among the most widespread and costly health problems facing the Nation today, accounting for approximately $320 billion in health care (Pirani, 2019).
Environmental Factors: The Earth’s average land temperature has warmed nearly 1°C in the past 50 years because of human activity, global greenhouse gas emissions have grown by nearly 80% since 1970, and atmospheric concentrations of the major greenhouse gases are at their highest level in 800,000 years. Storms, flooding, droughts, and air pollution make it easier for diseases to spread across large groups of people. The immediate solution is to provide resources like bottled water and sanitation technology, but global health must also focus on the prevention of environmental challenges in the first place. Climate change is thought by many global health experts to be the greatest threat to human health. Exposure to climate-related hazards can include biological, chemical, or physical stressors and can differ in time, location, population, and severity (National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences [NIEHS], 2022).
Holtz, C. (2012). Global health care (2nd ed.). Jones & Bartlett Learning.
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. (2022, May 11). Human health impacts of climate change. https://www.niehs.nih.gov/research/programs/climatechange/health_impacts/index.cfm
Pirani, F. (2019, February 4). The 10 biggest global health threats in 2019, according to the world health organization. ajc. https://www.ajc.com/news/health-med-fit-science/the-biggest-global-health-threats-2019-according-the-world-health-organization/zxcATIUl2E3lHuY6fKWRuJ/#:~:text=The%2010%20biggest%20global%20health%20threats%20in%202019%2C,refusal%20to%20vaccinate.%209%20Dengue.%2010%20HIV%20epidemic.
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