This report presents a summary of methods and results of the latest WHO global assessment of ambient air pollution exposure and the resulting burden of disease. Air pollution has become a growing concern in the past few years, with an increasing number of acute air pollution episodes in many cities worldwide.

The advent of the Sustainable Development Goal era, in the context of new threats and instabilities to peoples worldwide, offers an ambitious agenda for revitalizing political commitments to human well-being—for future generations as well as our own.

The health sector is a key economic sector and a job generator. The aggregate size of the world’s health sector is over US$ 5.8 trillion per year. Across the OECD countries, employment in health and social work grew by 48% between 2000 and 2014, while jobs in industry and agriculture declined.

Countries start to act on noncommunicable diseases but need to speed up efforts to meet global commitments. A new WHO report highlights the need to intensify national action to meet the global targets governments have agreed to protect people from heart disease, cancers, diabetes, and lung diseases.

The World Health Statistics series is WHO’s annual compilation of health statistics for its 194 Member States. World Health Statistics 2016 focuses on the proposed health and health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and associated targets. It represents an initial effort to bring together available data on SDG health and health-related indicators. In the current absence of official goal-level indicators, summary measures of health such as (healthy) life expectancy are used to provide a general assessment of the situation.

More than 80% of people living in urban areas that monitor air pollution are exposed to air quality levels that exceed WHO limits. While all regions of the world are affected, populations in low-income cities are the most impacted. According to the latest urban air quality database, 98% of cities in low- and middle income countries with more than 100 000 inhabitants do not meet WHO air quality guidelines. However, in high-income countries, that percentage decreases to 56%.

This WHO report released on World Malaria Day, 2016 shows that, although an ambitious goal, eliminating malaria from 35 countries by 2030 is achievable. Malaria mortality rates have declined by 60% globally since the year 2000, but reaching the next level – elimination – will not be easy.

On the occasion of World Health Day 2016, WHO issues a call for action on diabetes, drawing attention to the need to step up prevention and treatment of the disease. The first WHO Global report on diabetes demonstrates that the number of adults living with diabetes has almost quadrupled since 1980 to 422 million adults.

Household air pollution is the single most important environmental health risk worldwide, and women and children are at particularly high risk from exposure. This global report provides new data on the still-pervasive use of polluting fuels for home cooking, lighting and heating, as well as an in-depth look at the impacts on women and children.

As the world’s urban population continues to grow, health inequities - especially between the richest and poorest urban populations - are a persistent challenge according to this new report by WHO and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat).

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