According to Harvard Business Review, people often make great decisions not while actively trying. These “aha!” moments can lead to brilliant, unexpected ideas or solutions. In 1993, a man in Seattle had such an “aha!” moment reading a study about diarrhea. Nearly 25 years later, that moment, unquestionably, helped change the course of global health.
The Global Burden of Disease study (GBD) has been compared to many landmark events: the advent of the encyclopedia, the mapping of the human genome, and the first landing on the moon.
These updated findings are important to understanding today’s gains and gaps for the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and are essential for decision-makers as they aim to improve the health of populations. We have highlighted some uses and coverage of last year’s SDG report and paired them with particularly interesting or notable findings from GBD 2016.
In a new series of papers published yesterday, the GBD Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR) collaborators describe the disease burden of the 22 countries that make up the EMR. While wars and civil unrest are currently the primary cause of death and disability in many Middle Eastern countries, the authors of the studies point out that other pressing issues are also multiplying both due to and alongside the ongoing unrest.
The FIA Foundation’s recent report, “Step Change: An Action Agenda on Safe Walking for Africa’s Children,” uses data from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study to highlight the high burden of road traffic injuries among children in sub-Saharan Africa. The FIA Foundation is a UK-based charity that promotes road safety, the environment, and sustainable transport, and funds research on motor sport safety.
In his annual letter on philanthropy, Michael Bloomberg – founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and former mayor of New York City – emphasizes the importance of following the data no matter where it leads us in global health. And by drawing on data from the GBD study, Bloomberg and his organization find themselves looking squarely at non-communicable diseases (NCDs), and their growing impact worldwide.
A new analysis by Global Burden of Disease collaborators highlights that people are still dying from preventable, treatable causes, and reveals inequitable global progress in improving healthcare access and quality. Having already sparked global interest, results from this analysis are a reminder that development is not the only indicator of healthcare access and quality, and that improvements can occur more rapidly, particularly in countries that are lagging behind.
With rising threats from non-communicable diseases and emerging infectious diseases, effective global health leadership is vital. In their new book, Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World and Why, Chelsea Clinton and Devi Sridhar use findings on global health spending from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) to better understand the different actors in the global health space and look at how well they are helping address the world’s health problems.
A new study from IHME contributors on “Inequalities in life expectancy among US counties, 1980 to 2014” has provoked widespread attention and discussion from media organizations, decision-makers, and the public.While life expectancy has increased for the US as a whole, the inequality among counties and regions was far more dramatic than most expected, with differences of as much as 20 years between the counties with the highest and lowest life expectancies.
In Ethiopia the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study is being used to support the Ministry of Health’s drive to strengthen evidence-based decision-making, in collaboration with key partners.
Those who influence decisions on development assistance for health are facing a “very uncertain, dramatic moment that is unprecedented,” said Stephen Morrison, Senior Vice President and Director of the Global Health Policy Center at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, speaking April 20 at a policy briefing in Washington, DC. The discussion focused on two newly published papers on financing global health by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington.
In Sweden, the Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institute, and the Center for Epidemiology and Community Medicine (CES) collaborated with IHME to develop estimates for the burden of disease in Stockholm County. These are now a key feature of the county’s Public Health Guide, which serves as a valuable reference for Stockholm’s government and civil society as they work to promote health and prevent disease.
Earlier this month, the GBD 2015 Tobacco Collaborators published a new report on smoking prevalence and the global burden of tobacco use in The Lancet.
Some people smoke and live seemingly long lives. Yet tobacco is unquestionably harmful. How do we reconcile the two? A recent post published on the Brookings Institute’s Future Development blog used Global Burden of Disease data to educate readers about “selection bias,” or the human tendency to focus on anecdotal accounts that defy the trends while ignoring the much larger body of evidence that supports them.
The World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe (WHO/Europe) and its members view burden of disease data as an essential component of population health monitoring, and an important indicator for policy change. As a result, these bodies have joined forces with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) to carry out detailed disease burden analyses in the region.
During his recent visit to IHME’s offices, we sat down with Dr. Yohannes Kinfu, member of the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study’s Scientific Council and the person who came up with the idea that led to the creation of the Socio-demographic Index (SDI), a new metric for measuring development. SDI allows people to compare countries’ health outcomes and the performance of health systems, and better understand what tomorrow’s health landscape will look like.
On March 21, 2017, the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ (CSIS) Task Force on Women’s and Family Health outlined a road map for the Trump administration to improve the lives of adolescent girls and young women in 13 low-income countries, using IHME’s research to make their case.
The Ministry of Health of Ghana is using burden of disease data to identify the biggest health problems in the country and guide health planning.
In Norway, the government is helping improve the science behind the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) study and incorporating it into their decision-making. The March 2016 launch of the report on GBD findings in Norway has received extensive coverage by the Norwegian media.
On February 8, the University of Washington Department of Global Health (UWDGH) convened renowned thought leaders from around the world to explore the evolving field of global health through presentations, panel discussions, and audience Q&A’s. Health metrics sciences play an important role in driving decisions and programs aimed at improving the health of the world’s populations, and the significance of good evidence and IHME’s impact was made apparent by many speakers during the event.
In the historic city of Porto, famous for being a critical center of trade, health organizations from across Portugal have come together to celebrate a new partnership between Portugal and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation to advance the work of the Global Burden of Disease enterprise and provide insight to guide policymaking in the country.
The paper, “US spending on personal health care and public health, 1996–2013,” published recently in JAMA, found that just 20 conditions make up more than half of all spending on health care in the United States. The paper’s findings have elicited a variety of recommendations from health care experts from the private sector and an architect of the Affordable Care Act.
Data collected by IHME during its evaluation of the Salud Mesoamerica Initiative (SMI) is driving improvements in the health systems that serve some of the Americas’ poorest people.
On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. Intending to “accelerate the discovery, development, and delivery of 21st century cures,” the act emphasizes using burden of disease data to prioritize areas of research and innovation.
Researchers and clean air advocates in India have used GDB data to highlight the health impacts of air pollution, and to guide the development of a pioneering new framework to address this major risk factor.