WHO: Vaccine Hesitancy Among Top Ten Threats to Global Health in 2019
People being skeptical of getting vaccinated against diseases is among the top ten threats for global health in 2019. The WHO released a list of top ten threats for human health for this year. The list includes climate change and air pollution, noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart diseases, global influenza pandemic, fragile and vulnerable settings, antimicrobial resistance, Ebola and other high threat pathogens, weak primary health care, dengue, HIV and vaccine hesitancy. When it comes to vaccine hesitancy, the UN’s health body warned us:
“Vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.”
From a 2018 survey, the most skeptic countries in the European Union are Bulgaria, Latvia, and France. Confidence in vaccines declined in some parts of the world due to anti-vaccine groups gaining major traction in the political sphere.
The main reasons why people choose not to vaccinate are an inconvenience in accessing vaccines, lack of confidence in the science behind vaccines and sometimes even religious beliefs.
The Invisible Warning Signs That Predict Your Future Health
Additional use of artificial intelligence could be spotting the warning signs of disease before we even know we are ill.
Futurist and founder of the Future Exploration Network, Ross Dawson predicts the shift from the current model of healthcare to a new healthcare system, where we would switch from treating the disease to focusing on prevention and tracking any potential health problems before they become a matter of serious concern. He says:
“Shifting societal attitudes, with increased expectations to live full and healthy lives, are driving these changes. This decade, the explosion of new technology and algorithms has given rise to deep learning in artificial intelligence, becoming vastly more effective at pattern recognition than humans.”
When AI is able to track our breathing, heart rate, movement, a chemical in our breath, then the technology would have the ability to detect any potential health problems long before symptoms of disease appear. This technology could help doctors to intervene and advise patients to change their lifestyles in order to prevent disease.
Most excitingly, AI could see patterns that are not visible to the human eye, revealing and tracking what effects our health and what future outcomes might be. Dawson explains that AI might be able to anticipate a potential heart disease attack by monitoring one person. The ability to predict changes in our health could be particularly important as our population grows even older. According to the UN, people over 60 years old will account for a fifth of the global population by 2050. At that time, we hope we might have more advanced technology that could help us stay healthy and active.
Healthy Body, Healthy Mind
According to the old saying, a healthy body, healthy mind. There is plenty of truth in this saying. How we think and how we feel can have a great impact on our body functions and vice versa. At this time of the year, many people are struggling with new year’s resolutions of having a healthy lifestyle, and it’s really important to address our mental and physical health as a balanced and sustainable way of improving your overall health.
Having healthy habits such as a clean diet and regular exercise will have a great impact on your overall mental health. When you go to the gym, you will notice that you feel way better than you did feel before. Maybe you were tired or maybe you were anxious before hitting the gym, however, all of that goes away after an hour of cardio.
Also, taking care of your mental health and monitoring your thoughts and feelings closely will save you from many physical conditions that can have long-term effects on your overall health.