Living healthier while living longer
Although there are large disparities across countries, the global average life expectancy rose to 72.6 years in 2019. In part, this is due to medical progress. However, the challenges associated with an ageing population are tremendous. By 2030, one in six people in the world will be aged 60 or over. The healthcare system will need to adapt to increasing cases of chronic disease, increased blood sugar levels and dementia.
While many life-threatening illnesses can now be better diagnosed and treated, lower respiratory infections, for example, remained the fourth leading cause of death globally in 2019 – even before the COVID-19 pandemic. New epidemics and antibiotic resistance are among the next big challenges and the launch of innovative therapies will be required to address them.
Prevention, medical progress and infrastructure are paramount
The healthcare sector keeps investing in #MedicalR&D. Innovations in gene and cell therapies enabled the development of new treatments in areas such as oncology or cardiology but also for autoimmune, rare or even infectious diseases. Many cancers could be cured if detected early through #HealthDiagnostics and treated effectively with #PrescriptionDrugs.
Around one-third of deaths from cancer are due to tobacco use, alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet and lack of physical activity, which could be avoided through #PreventiveHealth or a #BasicPlantbasedFood diet. Prevention remains one of the most cost-effective solutions to ensure #Healthcare4All. Investment in #HealthInfrastructure and #eHealth is also key to a more efficient healthcare system and, ultimately, better health and well-being for the population.
Ensuring health for all
This radiTheme promotes Sustainable Development Goal 3, “Good Health and Well-Being”, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote physical, mental and social well-being for all at all ages. It cannot be achieved without health facilities and systems, qualified health personnel, access to adequate health care and healthcare financing. SDG 3 also targets an end to epidemics of infectious diseases (such as AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria) and other communicable diseases (e.g., COVID-19), reducing road accidents or pollution-related deaths and diseases. All these require investments in #MedicalR&D, #Vaccines or #HealthInfrastructure and more.