10 Global Health Issues to Follow in 2016

From air pollution to Zika virus, these diseases, threats, and trends are likely to shape the global health agenda in 2016.

The persistent wealth gap worldwide is growing. Kaolack, Senegal. Photo (Credit: Clement Tardif/IntraHealth International)

Some global health threats take us by surprise, sparking fires we never expected to fight. Take Ebola, for instance — the world couldn’t have foreseen the 2014 outbreak, particularly in West Africa, which had never before experienced it. Other fires, though, have been smoldering quietly for decades, and are now building strength and becoming difficult to contain.

This year, IntraHealth International’s annual list is filled with such challenges. These topics will shape the global health agenda in 2016, defining what many global development organizations do this year and how we do it:

10. Ebola’s unprecedented survivors. Never before have there been so many survivors of the virus. Survival, it turns out, is both a boon and a burden — many now face a lifetime of social exile and chronic health problems. Ebola survivors will present new health-care challenges in 2016 as health workers learn to care for their unique needs. We’ll learn more than we’ve ever known about Ebola’s damaging physical, psychological and economic legacy.

A study last year linked air pollution to 6 million deaths per year in China.

9. Mental health for trauma survivors. In 2016, the mental health consequences of war, displacement, Ebola, gender-based violence, natural disasters and other traumas will become more and more apparent. Today’s global health workforce isn’t ready for these challenges — there are too few social service workers and others trained to provide complex, specialized mental health care, and far too few are based where the need is greatest. In fact, there just aren’t enough health workers right now to go around — period.

Read the rest of the list at http://www.humanosphere.org/global-health/2016/01/guest-post-10-global-health-issues-to-follow-in-2016/.

Read more of IntraHealth’s annual lists:


Originally published at www.humanosphere.org on January 26, 2016.

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