People live longer in countries that became democracies from 1970 to 2015 finds this new global study published in the journal Lancet. It states that democracy reduced chances of dying from — heart diseases, cirrhosis, stroke and road accidents. Free and fair elections appear important for improving adult health… most likely by increasing government accountability and responsiveness says the study.

The revolution in hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment through the development of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) has generated international interest in the global elimination of the disease as a public health threat. In 2017, this led WHO to establish elimination targets for 2030.

Malnutrition in all its forms, including obesity, undernutrition, and other dietary risks, is the leading cause of poor health globally. In the near future, the health effects of climate change will considerably compound these health challenges. Climate change can be considered a pandemic because of its sweeping effects on the health of humans and the natural systems we depend on (ie, planetary health).

The Lancet Countdown: tracking progress on health and climate change was established to provide an independent, global monitoring system dedicated to tracking the health dimensions of the impacts of, and the response to, climate change. The Lancet Countdown tracks 41 indicators across five domains: climate change impacts, exposures, and vulnerability; adaptation, planning, and resilience for health; mitigation actions and health co-benefits; finance and economics; and public and political engagement.

With one billion people on the move or having moved in 2018, migration is a global reality, which has also become a political lightning rod. Although estimates indicate that the majority of global migration occurs within low-income and middle-income countries (LMICs), the most prominent dialogue focuses almost exclusively on migration from LMICs to high-income countries (HICs).

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent an exponential advance from the Millennium Development Goals, with a substantially broader agenda affecting all nations and requiring coordinated global actions.

Human capital is recognised as the level of education and health in a population and is considered an important determinant of economic growth. The World Bank has called for measurement and annual reporting of human capital to track and motivate investments in health and education and enhance productivity.

In 2008, WHO launched the final report of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) that concluded “social injustice is killing people on a grand scale”.

Given the scale of unmet need and the constraints of India’s low government budgets, it will be essential that India’s universal health coverage (UHC) strategy is efficient and equitable. India must invest heavily in primary health care (PHC) services, where health returns are greatest.

The Government of India recently launched the ambitious National Health Protection Mission, also referred to as Ayushman Bharat, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana, or Modicare. This scheme has two main pillars: strengthening of universal comprehensive primary health care and a health insurance scheme to cover 500 million people in need to reduce catastrophic out-of-pocket health spending.

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