The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a 5-year strategic plan to ensure 1 billion more people worldwide benefit from access to universal health coverage, are protected from health emergencies, and enjoy better health and well-being. To achieve these goals, the agency identified 10 health-related issues to be addressed globally:
- Air pollution and climate change
- Noncommunicable diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease
- Influenza pandemic
- Vulnerable populations (people living in areas facing drought, famine, or conflict, for example)
- Antimicrobial resistance
- High-threat pathogens like Ebola
- Inadequate health care
- Vaccine hesitancy (anti-vaccination efforts)
- Dengue (serious mosquito-borne illness)
According to the WHO, the reluctance or refusal of people to vaccinate despite vaccine availability — called vaccine hesitancy — threatens to impede and even reverse progress made against vaccine-preventable diseases like measles. Cases of measles have increased 30 percent worldwide and some countries, including the United States, have seen a resurgence.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the 349 confirmed cases of measles in 26 states and the District of Columbia in 2018 is the second-highest number since the disease was declared eliminated in the U.S. in 2000. Since January 1, 2019, at least 23 people have been infected in a measles outbreak in the Pacific Northwest and outbreaks have also been reported in New York and New Jersey.