Uneven access to health services drives life expectancy gaps: WHO

Women outlive men everywhere in the world – particularly in wealthy countries. The World Health Statistics 2019 – disaggregated by sex for the first time – explains why.

Breaking down data by age, sex and income group is vital for understanding who is being left behind and why. Behind every number in the World Health Statistics is a person, a family, a community or a nation. Our task is to use these data to make evidence-based policy decisions that move us closer to a healthier, safer, fairer world for everyone.
Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

The gap between men’s and women’s life expectancy is narrowest where women lack access to health services. In low-income countries, where services are scarcer, 1 in 41 women dies from a maternal cause, compared with 1 in 3300 in high-income countries. In more than 90 per cent of low-income countries, there are fewer than 4 nursing and midwifery personnel per 1000 people.

Attitudes to healthcare differ. Where men and women face the same disease, men often seek health care less than women.  In countries with generalized HIV epidemics, for example, men are less likely than women to take an HIV test, less likely to access antiretroviral therapy and more likely to die of AIDS-related illnesses than women. Similarly, male TB patients appear to be less likely to seek care than female TB patients.

The report also highlights the difference in causes of death between men and women – some biological, some influenced by environmental and societal factors, and some impacted by availability of and uptake of health services.

 

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WHO

Source

www.who.int/