While the whole world is focused on the human tragedy of Syria's Idlib region, the global turmoil caused by U.S. President Donald Trump, China's belt-road project, the footsteps of the second Cold War and on all the humanitarian crises and tragedies on the face of the earth, a critical issue that will influence the future seems to be left in the shadow: health.
The 2018 Global Health Report by Deloitte - a reputable organization - shows that global health spending, which increased at an average of 1.3 percent annually between 2012 and 2016, will attain an average annual increase of 4.1 percent over the period of 2017 to 2021. This rise is with a rapidly aging global population, rising living standards and spending capabilities with regards to purchasing power in developing economies, the development and expansion in means of medical treatment, and the rising labor costs in the health sector.
At the global scale, the per capita health expenditure among countries will continue to show a very high variability. To give an example, in 2021, it would be $11,356 in the U.S. while it will only be $53 in Pakistan. Between 2016 and 2021, while it is expected that the life expectancy at the global scale will rise from 73 years to 74.1 years, with an average increase of close to a year, it is anticipated that the population aged 65 and above will reach 656 million, or 11.5 percent of the global population. While complete success in fighting manageable illnesses still appears far away, the countries' efforts for a cleaner environment, better living conditions and better standards of health care and vaccination will continue at increasing intensity.
With regards to these efforts, while the number of deaths from malaria in 2000 was 1 million, this figure has declined to 429 in 2015; and due to the successes in response to treatments, the number of deaths from AIDS, which was 2.3 million in 2005, dropped to 1.1 million in 2015. However, while there are concerns due to many factors such as over rapid urbanization, global climate change, and malnutrition, cancer, heart attacks and diabetes will become widespread in developing countries, the number of diabetic patients has reached 114 million in China and 69 million in India. The worry at the global scale is that the number of diabetic patients, which is 415 million today, will reach 642 million by 2040.
All global economic, political and ecological problems cause a new patient to develop dementia every three seconds. It is stated that the number of dementia patients at the global scale has reached 50 million, doubling in 20 years, and that $1 trillion will be spent in 2018 on a global scale for this disease. If we add to this the fact that people in modern lifestyle are becoming increasingly less mobile and do not exercise, big risks in health are highlighted in terms of our global future.
1.4 billion people inactive
A comprehensive study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO) on close to 2 million people around the world showed that they are at very high risk of developing some non-contagious lethal diseases, as more than 1.4 billion people on a global scale do not make enough time to exercise in their daily lives. The WHO has also showed in its extensively documented report that the duration and frequency of exercise between men and women, both in both rich and poor countries have a clear distinction.
The report says that the proportion of those who exercise in high-income countries is more than twice that of developing countries. A third of women worldwide and one in four men are at risk of suffering from heart attacks, or getting diabetes and cancer if they do not increase their physical activity. The study also shows that the rate of exercise, which reduces the risk of acquiring non-contagious diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, dementia, and hypertension, is more than two times higher in high-income countries than in developing low-income countries.
Regina Guthold, an expert from the World Health Organization who was conducting the research, is also drawing attention to the daily habits of rich country citizens, such as more time spent in closed areas, longer working hours in offices, and consumption of higher calorie foods. Guthold said that the relationship between everyday life and inadequate exercise practice in these countries could be considered as a clear model on the correlation of the incidence of health problems and urbanization. Accordingly, in Kuwait, American Samoa, Saudi Arabia and Iraq more than half of the population exercise an inadequate amount. The rate in Kuwait among these countries is 67 percent.
Turkey is in the 20-29 percent level for men and in the 30-39 percent band for women. In the U.S., where men are in the 30-39 percent group and women in the 40-49 percent group, a serious problem of obesity is being discussed. The extra burden women carry in taking care of the household results in worse rates for men. The European continent is in a similar picture. Mediterranean countries are relatively better off.
In advanced Western countries, the proportion of women has risen from 20 percent to 30 percent from 2000 to 2015, while the proportion of men has risen from 25 percent to 30 percent. Finland is the best country at 17 percent. In almost every region of the world, women spend less time doing regular exercise.
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