Global Threats in 2019
From the iPod Nano to iPads and Apple watches, we have defined ourselves as the age of digital technology. Yet, whilst being a generation of technological innovation, we have also become a generation of polluters, with fast fashion, climate change and plastic pollution rapidly destroying our planet.
What are the Biggest Global Threats that we can Expect to Face in 2019?
Air pollution, caused by the burning of fossil fuels, is one of the major contributing factors to climate change, and it is now considered to be the greatest environmental risk to our health. According to The World Health Organisation (WHO), nine out of ten people breathe polluted air every day, weakening respiratory and circulatory systems, and damaging organs. They also project that, between 2030 and 2050, climate change will cause an additional 250,000 deaths each year.
In the age of innovation, the development of antibiotics and antivirals continues to grow, meaning we are able to treat infections such as pneumonia, gonorrhoea and tuberculosis, that were once not possible to treat. Nonetheless, antimicrobial resistance still exists due to the overuse of antimicrobials, threatening to send us back to a time where treatable conditions cannot be treated.
1.6 billion people live in vulnerable conditions, where there is not only poor health care, but crises such as famine, drought and conflict. Without a home and access to quality healthcare, the future does not look bright for those living in fragile settings. With reduced incomes and number of resources, these countries must rely on industrialised nations to strengthen their towns and cities, and to improve their state of health.
Diabetes, Cancer and heart disease have caused 15 million premature deaths, to those aged between 30 and 69, and they are collectively responsible for approximately 41 million deaths worldwide. The rise of noncommunicable diseases has been led by an increase in smoking, alcohol, unhealthy diets, air pollution as well as a reduction in physical activity. If we continue like this, we can only expect the figures to grow.
Eradication of diseases and environmental risks are a global undertaking. One can still exist without the other, meaning extra work and effort needs to be implemented into tackling these issues.
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