Editor’s Note: Despite its relatively advanced health care system, China was ranked 92nd out of 188 countries in the United Nation’s recent study on global health. The ten-year study measured a number of factors which, unfortunately for China, included air and water quality and its effects on a nation’s population.
China is not amongst the world’s healthiest countries. The Lancet and the United Nations recently teamed up to assess health-related development indicators in 188 countries and regions worldwide. China was ranked 92nd.
The study was published in September 2016 by renowned medical journal The Lancet and the United Nationals Sustainable Development Goals Working Group. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sponsored the study. It covered a time span from 1990 to 2015 and assessed 33 health-related Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators. The 188 countries were given a health index of 0-100, with 100 being the best.
Which Countries are the Healthiest?
Iceland is the healthiest country in the world with 85 out of 100 index points. Singapore, Sweden, Japan, and the United States were included in the top 30. Developing countries were lower on the list. Central African Republic was ranked last on the list with 20 index points.
China was ranked 92th: lower than Brazil and Indonesia, but ahead of Oman. China scored poorly in a few areas that were assessed by the study.
China performed well in the number of areas in the study: there are few to no war casualties, China has professional midwives, there is no malaria, there are low reports of domestic violence and malnourished children. But, China did not do well in other categories because of its poor water resources, mortality rate from air pollution, high rate of occupational diseases and natural disasters. China has a high rate of hepatitis B- 1,911 cases for every 100,000 people. The worst category for China was the high risk for disease brought on air pollution.
China’s average PM2.5 measurements in 2015 were about 58.10 micrograms per cubic meter. When the overall air concentration is higher than 10 micrograms per cubic meter in the long-term, those living in the polluted environment will experience health effects and the risk of death increases.
The United Nations continues to work on its Sustainable Development Goals and has set new targets for 2015-2030. The Millennial Development Goals were completed in 2015. These new goals cannot be achieved unless each country participates.
The completion of the MDGs is a good sign. But, while the international community has made progress in many key areas, development has been uneven in different countries and regions. Some countries are dealing with war or corruption, and national health is not a priority for the government. A large number of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people are not able to get help.
Health is a personal matter, but governments must provide a healthy environment for its people and must design and maintain a system for health and medical needs. China now has national health insurance, but the quality of the coverage is low. It is difficult for ordinary people to see a doctor, which is an issue that must be addressed.
Source: DW News
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Keywords: China health index United National health index
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