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WHO’s list of urgent global health challenges for the new decade

by Public Health Update

WHO’s list of urgent global health challenges for the new decade

Access to medicines
Infectious diseases
Epidemics Harmful products
Health workers
Adolescent health
Public trust
New technologies
Antibiotic resistance
Clean health care

13 January 2020

As a new year and a new decade kick off, WHO is releasing a list of urgent, global health challenges. This list, developed with input from our experts around the world, reflects a deep concern that leaders are failing to invest enough resources in core health priorities and systems. This puts lives, livelihoods and economies in jeopardy. None of these issues are simple to address, but they are within reach. Public health is ultimately a political choice.

The challenges are not listed in order of priority. All are urgent, and many are interlinked. 

  1. Elevating health in the climate debate
  2. Delivering health in conflict and crisis
  3. Making health care fairer
  4. Expanding access to medicines
  5. Stopping infectious diseases
  6. Preparing for epidemics
  7. Protecting people from dangerous products
  8. Investing in the people who defend our health
  9. Keeping adolescents safe
  10. Earning public trust
  11. Harnessing new technologies
  12. Protecting the medicines that protect us
  13. Keeping health care clean


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