Health and population

Health and population dynamics are intertwined, embodying an intricate relationship with significant implications on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Health is fundamentally at the center of these 17 global goals, aimed to transform the world by 2030. Specifically, Goal 3 endeavors to "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages." It acknowledges that health is pivotal to human life quality, social cohesion, and sustainable development. Inextricably linked to this are the complexities of population dynamics, including growth rates, age structure, fertility and mortality rates, and migration patterns.

With the world's population projected to exceed 9.7 billion by 2050, the pressure on health systems will undoubtedly escalate. The demographic transition, with an aging population and an increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases, poses new challenges for health systems globally. Additionally, areas with high fertility rates often overlap with extreme poverty, resulting in heightened health risks, including higher maternal and child mortality rates, malnutrition, and infectious diseases.

Moreover, rapid urbanization and migration present both opportunities and threats to health. While urban areas may provide better access to healthcare, they also harbor risks of disease transmission, air and water pollution, and social determinants of health like inadequate housing and social inequality. Simultaneously, migrants often face disproportionate health risks due to unstable living conditions, exploitation, and limited access to healthcare services.

Achieving the SDGs will necessitate comprehensive approaches that consider the intricate interplay of health and population dynamics. It means strengthening health systems, promoting universal health coverage, and addressing social determinants of health. It also implies crafting policies that recognize demographic realities and foster an environment conducive to sustainable development. Only by understanding and harnessing these dynamics can the world meaningfully progress towards realizing the SDGs, ensuring healthy lives and well-being for all.

This Series paper supports SDGs 3 and 5 by examining the determinants of maternal health and mortality and how these could be addressed to improve outcomes. The causes of maternal mortality, and efforts to improve maternal health, require a multipronged and multidisciplinary approach.

World Health Day 2024: Global Action for Universal Health

World Chagas Disease Day 2024: Fight the Silent Epidemic

World Tuberculosis Day 2024: A Global Call to Action

March 24th, 2024

Each year, World Tuberculosis Day is observed on March 24th, a day of significance marking Dr. Robert Koch's groundbreaking announcement in 1882 of the discovery of the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis (TB). This discovery was a pivotal moment in the medical field, leading to the development of diagnostic methods and treatments for this devastating disease.

The Significance of World Tuberculosis Day

This Article supports SDG 3 by highlighting the importance of not just measuring life expectancy but also disability-free life expectancy as an indicator of population health, and showing that in Hong Kong, a word leader in life expectancy, there has been a trend of increasing disability burden, particularly in women. The authors discuss the public health implications of their findings.
This content aligns with Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing by explaining the different contributions to the mitochondrial toxic profile produced either by the virus or by the antiretroviral treatment.
Background: Hong Kong is among the many populations that has experienced the combined impacts of social unrest and the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite concerns about further deteriorations in youth mental health globally, few epidemiological studies have been conducted to examine the prevalence and correlates of major depressive episode (MDE) and other major psychiatric disorders across periods of population-level changes using diagnostic interviews. Methods: We conducted a territory-wide household-based epidemiological study from 2019 to 2022 targeting young people aged 15–24 years.
Elsevier,

The South African Herbal Pharmacopoeia
Monographs of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants
2023, Pages 321-344

This content aligns with Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing by providing information about lessertia frutescens, an adaptogenic tonic, and commercial tablets that are popular to counteract the muscle-wasting effects associated with HIV-AIDS in patients and to stimulate appetite.
Elsevier,

Nelson Pediatric Symptom-Based Diagnosis: Common Diseases and their Mimics (Second Edition)
2023, Pages 450-472.e2

This content aligns with Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities by reviewing the common risk and protective factors for developmental disorders, approaches to screening, and identification of developmental disabilities in primary health care settings.
Elsevier,

Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases (Sixth Edition)
2023, Pages 686-693.e3

This content aligns with Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing by outlining approaches for diagnosing HIV in infants, children, adolescents, and young adults and providing an overview of the pathologic effects of HIV on various organ systems in these age groups.

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