It’s no secret that many states constantly battle to keep their region and its people safe from economic turbulence. However, while governments must prioritize economic security, no nation can ignore the many prevailing public health issues. After all, doing so would be bad for the political and economic stability of the country.
Put this way, a terrible pandemic has been wreaking havoc on our planet since the beginning of 2020. Globally, the transmission of COVID-19 is thought to have killed 6,622,760 people, according to the data reported by WHO.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a significant public health challenge for 2023, although experts are still learning about new strains and coming up with the best treatment possibilities. It’s not the only one, though.
Public Health Challenges
Many other worldwide health challenges have emerged due to modern technological developments, globalization, agricultural methods, etc. However, health professionals are not solely responsible for solving public health problems.
Instead, the World Health Organization (WHO) highlighted the collaborative efforts of individuals, policymakers, and government representatives to address and tackle global health concerns. Only then can nations promote healthy living on a worldwide scale.
So, do you have the desire to step foot in a field that works towards addressing the world’s most pressing health issues and coming up with solutions that rely significantly on public health research? In that case, now is the best time.
There’s a growing demand for public health professionals now more than ever. Aspiring students can land public health research jobs in various settings, including labs, research institutions, educational institutions, etc. However, to secure a job in this domain and be successful, you must obtain the proper education, practical experience, and transferable skills.
But, before diving into the public health field, you probably want to know the top global health issues you need to address and control. So, let’s go over the top five public health challenges of this decade below:
There’s no denying that epidemics will occur.
Without addressing the COVID-19 pandemic’s effects, a discussion of current public health challenges would fall short. The COVID-19 pandemic will probably continue to be the primary health concern for the rest of 2023 and possibly a few years after.
The virus has evaluated the efficacy of public health measures intended to stop the spread of disease, lower infection and mortality rates, and support vaccine campaigns.
Fortunately, with the persistent effort of scientists and public health specialists, numerous vaccines are available for the public, and they assist in reducing the risk of infection. But even though vaccination is unquestionably the world’s greatest hope. Repeating booster doses will continue to be challenging because vaccination fatigue may begin to set in the common public.
Undeniably, the pandemic has impacted millions of people’s mental health and will continue to do so. During the pandemic, layoffs, general loss of livelihood, lack of social interaction, and financial insecurity have also been common. According to a scientific brief published by the World Health Organization (WHO), anxiety and depression among the populace increased drastically in the first year of the COVID-19 epidemic by 25%.
Moreover, loneliness and social isolation are increasing among older people and are a priority public health problem. Put this way, older persons who experience loneliness and social isolation can increase their likelihood of developing dementia and other severe medical disorders.
Eventually, there will be a greater need for public health and mental health professionals as more people seek these services.
Another critical global public health challenge the industry presently faces is the vast inequalities and discrimination that prevent some populations from obtaining proper healthcare access. In other words, many people still lack access to high-quality healthcare for various reasons, especially those from underprivileged areas.
Several variables, including the high cost of treatment, a lack of (or insufficient) insurance coverage, a lack of resources, and a lack of culturally competent care, contribute to this issue. The consequences of people not having access to high-quality healthcare can be severe. Unmet medical demands, wait times, and a refusal to take preventive care frequently put a financial strain on the patient and the healthcare system.
There are a few workable solutions to this issue. These include addressing disparities in healthcare access (race, ethnicity, age, sex, etc.), providing guidance or launching programs to promote healthcare equity, allocating more resources to underserved areas, like telehealth facilities, and establishing legal procedures.
Do you know there will likely be an additional 250,000 deaths between 2030 and 2050 due to climate change? WHO states another biggest threat humanity is facing is climate change.
Since 2015, there have been seven hottest years, with the top three being 2016, 2019, and 2020; although the warming in 2023 was comparatively less pronounced than in recent years, 2023 was still warmer than earlier.
The global climate crisis has serious health repercussions, including increased death and illness from heat waves, storms, and floods, food systems disruption, food and water-borne diseases, and mental health problems.
To address the problem, the WHO suggests that leaders in the public and commercial sectors must collaborate to improve air quality and lessen the effects of climate change on health.
Approximately 38.4 million people were living with HIV by the end of 2023, as surveyed by the UNAIDS. And about 5.9 million people were unaware that they were living with it. So, it is no wonder the stats are pretty alarming.
The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (aka HIV) is a virus that affects the immune system of the body. Sadly, there is no reliable cure for this disease to this date. Scientists are still working on developing a vaccine to prevent the virus.
As a result, people who contract HIV might get permanently infected. But HIV is manageable if given the proper medical attention.
A better idea is to get tested at the earliest so one can start making healthy decisions. Additionally, HIV, if not treated properly, can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Research funding, educational initiatives, and testing programs are examples of public health strategies to treat and prevent HIV/AIDS.
Public health challenges persist in every era. These issues are typically intricate and challenging to track down and solve. Some of these current issues aren’t even inherently health or medical-related. They have, nonetheless, had a profoundly negative impact on the well-being of countless millions of people.
To address these public health issues effectively and achieve significant progress, stakeholders everywhere must take an active role. For instance, individuals, communities, and institutions must work in solidarity. Moreover, nations must employ policies appropriate to their own cultures and environments.