Health and Human Development - global health
Compare the data on each graph. What observations can you make about
more developed and less developed regions?
Global life expectancy today is approximately 62 years for males and 67
years for females as a result of the reduction in mortality since World War
Two. This is on an approximate level with the life expectancy of developed
countries in the 1950s. The gap between the life expectancy in developing
and industrialised nations has narrowed from approximately 25 years in the
early 1950s, to 12 years in the early 1990s. However, there are still areas
in the world where life expectancy is in fact dropping. Rwanda is one
example, where war has reduced life expectancy based on World Health
Organisation ( WHO) figures from 46.7 years in 1985 - 1990 to 22.6 years in
1990 - 1995.
The general gains in life expectancy as a measure of health status have
arisen through improvements in primary health care. However, in developing
regions and even in a lot of developed countries the emphasis in health
care is still on curative measures rather than preventative ones.
WHO data shows that in 1994, 18 per cent of the world's population in
rural areas had access to sanitation compared with 70 per cent in urban
areas. 63 per cent of the world's population in rural areas had access to
safe water compared with 82 per cent in urban areas. These differences in
health status related to access to primary health are not confined to
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