WHO World Health Statistics: Implications for India’s Governance

WHO World Health Statistics: Implications for India’s Governance

Question: India has met only 4 of 10 health targets under the MDGs, as per WHO Annual World Health Statistics for 2015. Discuss the implications of this report for India’s governance.

• WHO World Health Statistics has been published every year since 2005

• It contains data from 194 nations on mortality, disease and health system indicators such as life expectancy, illnesses and deaths from key diseases, health services and treatments, financial investment in health, and risk factors and behaviours that impact health

• It enumerates statistics on greater than a 1000 health indicators from mental health to air pollution

• India has met only 4 of the 10 targets under Millennium Development Goals and made no progress on 4 as per the WHO World Health Statistics for 2015

• While the world on the whole has made considerable progress in attaining MDGs, India lags behind

• Internationally, life expectancy at birth has risen by 6 years for both females and males since 1990. If current trends persist, world will meet international targets for turning around the epidemics of HIV, Malaria, TB and increasing access to safe drinking water

• There will also be considerable progress for the reduction of child malnourishment, maternal and child deaths and increased access to basic sanitation

• Progress in child survival worldwide and reduction of neonatal complications are positive targets which have been attained

• Since the year 1990, there has been a halving of the rate of child deaths from an estimated 90 deaths per 1000 live births to 46 deaths per 1000 live births in 2013.

Implications for India

• In India, life expectancy rose by 8 years between 1990 and 2013

• India has sharply lowered infant mortality between 2000 and 2013, but it still contributes for the maximum amount of infant deaths on a global scale

• Non communicable diseases are the leading cause of death followed by

• Communicable diseases as well as injuries

• The status of MDG goals are as follows: 4 targets have been met, substantial progress has been made in 2 while 4 are not yet attained

The MDG targets attained/attainable are as follows:


• Reduction of under five mortality rate by two thirds

• Reduction of maternal mortality ratio by 75%

• Universal access to reproductive health

• Halt and Reserve spread of AIDS

• Halt and Reverse Spread of diseases such as Malaria

• Halve proportion of population without substantial access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation

The Numbers

• 58% reduction in under five mortality rate between 1990 and 2013 was noted

• 74% measles immunisation coverage was noted among 1 year olds in 2013

• 66% reduction in maternal mortality rates was observed between 1990 and 2013

• 67% of the births in India were attended by skilled health manpower in this period
• 75% antenatal care coverage in 2013 was noted with at least 1 visit

• 21% unmet needs for limiting births and family planning were noted in 2013

• There was 57% reduction in HIV incidence between 2001 and 2013

• 50% reduction was noted in mortality rate of TB among HIV negative persons between 1990 and 2013

• There was 77% reduction in proportion of population without access to improved drinking water sources between the years 1990 and 2012

• There was 22% reduction in proportion of population without access to improved sanitation during this period as well.

Facts and Stats

• 13 countries with some of the world’s highest rates have made little progress reducing largely preventable maternal deaths

• The world has begun to see the reverse of the spread of HIV with new infections reported in 2013 of 2.1 million people from 3.4 in 2001

• Global targets for potable drinking water in the African and East Mediterranean Regions fall far short, particularly for the poor and those living in rural areas

• According to WHO World Health statistics, in some countries, less than 5% of total government expenditure is on health.
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