UN Agencies released Global Report on Urban Health 2016

Apr 4, 2016 18:23 IST

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) on 31 March 2016 jointly released a report titled Global report on urban health: equitable, healthier cities for sustainable development, 2016.

The report updates the 2010 joint WHO/UN-Habitat global report - Hidden Cities: Unmasking and Overcoming Urban Health Inequities - with the latest evidence on urban health inequity patterns and their social, economic and environmental determinants.

The report further documents opportunities for joint action to realize the goals enshrined in the Sustainable Development Agenda 2030 by achieving universal urban health coverage.

UNGA adopted Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

Highlights of Global Report on Urban Health 2016

• National level wealth does not always determine conditions for health at the city level.

• Megacities in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) have worse conditions for health than smaller cities.

• Conditions for health vary widely even between cities within the same geographic region.

• The capital cities of countries most affected by the 2014–2015 Ebola outbreak had some of the poorest conditions for health.

• Achieving meaningful progress in health in cities everywhere depends on reducing health inequity.

• Greater attention to the health needs of the urban poor is essential to move towards universal health coverage.

• Cities must play a leadership role in the fight to against communicable disease.

• Non communicable diseases present not only a threat to human health, but also have significant economic implications for cities.

• Cities increasingly face the unprecedented dual challenge of under nutrition and over nutrition.

• Despite significant global progress, lack of access to safe and sustainable water and sanitation continues to pose an urgent challenge for cities.

• Cities can be designed and managed in ways that enable healthier behaviour and achieve better health outcomes.

• Urban transport can be transformed to be healthier, safer and more sustainable.

• Targeted housing interventions, greater use of clean energy and improved affordability can help tackle the global challenge of healthy and sustainable urban housing.

• Poor safety and urban violence come at a significant cost to the health of urban residents and the societies where they live.

• In order to bring out a renewed focus on urban governance, the report suggested steps for the empowerment of citizen through information sharing and promoting public private partnerships for delivery of health facilities.

Report with respect to India

• India’s urban population is projected to increase from 380 million (33 percent) in 2014 to 600 million (about 40 percent) by 2031.

• 15–19-year-old migrant girls in both rural and urban areas are less likely to deliver in a medical institution than non-migrants of the same age.

• In a country the size of India, the role of civil society and NGOs will be equally important, along with the government agencies, in alleviating critical health issues in slums and disadvantaged areas of cities.

• In India, home to the highest absolute burden of TB in the world, the city of Mumbai has been experiencing an unprecedented epidemic of MDR-TB. In 2014, Mumbai registered 2951 MDR-TB cases, over 12 percent of the cases in the entire country.

• In India, urbanization and its associated lifestyle changes have triggered a health transition in favour of non communicable diseases (NCDs). Cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer are now the top two leading causes of death in urban areas.

• Between 2014 and 2050, India is expected to add an additional 404 million to its cities. The cost of CVD,

• Diabetes, cancer, chronic respiratory diseases and mental health conditions was estimated at 6.2 trillion US dollars for between 2012 and 2030.

• CVD and mental health conditions present the greatest economic threats, followed by respiratory diseases and cancer.

• By 2050, there are expected to be 2.1 billion cars, light trucks and other motor vehicles in the world. Most of the increase will be in Asian countries, especially China and India.

• Pedestrians and bicyclists accounted for at least 44 percent of road traffic fatalities, but ranged as high as 60 percent in Mumbai.

• Chennai stood at the 2nd place in world in terms of reported traffic fatalities per 1 lakh inhabitants. While Fortaleza (Brazil) stood at the top with 27.2 fatalities, death toll in Chennai was pegged at 26.6.

• Other Indian cities with high traffic fatalities were – Jaipur (25.5), Indore (13.0), Kolkata (9.4), Delhi (9.4), Bengaluru (8.9), Pune (5.2), Surat (5.0), Ahmedabad (4.8) and Mumbai (3.2).

• Rates of physical and sexual violence against women in cities in India, both inside and outside their homes, are commonly twice as high in slums than in wealthier areas.

• Public service provision is inadequate to meet the demands of its populations. The key barrier in upgrading and maintaining cities in India is political.

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