In June of 1981, the CDC reported five cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia among previously healthy young men in Los Angeles. Thirty-five years later, and millions of words, thousands of scientific papers, and countless celebrities’ speeches later, AIDS has evolved from an obscure disease to a movement crossing medical, social, political, and economic boundaries.
This week, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Nairobi, announcing that his country would help the Kenyan government build a high-tech cancer treatment center in the capital. At the same time, 65 health practitioners gathered in another part of the city to plan for an even bigger project: tackling all non-communicable diseases (NCDs). As a first step toward this goal, the International Center for Humanitarian Affairs (ICHA) at the Kenya Red Cross and the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), in collaboration with the Kenya Ministry of Health, produced a report that examines health progress over the past 23 years, as well as the challenges the country faces as its population grows and Kenya’s health landscape shifts.
In the midst of a contentious Congressional battle over funding for Zika prevention and research, IHME is providing Congressional staff with objective information to guide decision-making.
The estimation of global health outcomes just became much more transparent.
Cardiovascular diseases (CVD) remain the leading cause of death in the world. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 (GBD 2013), the number of CVD deaths has risen since 1990 – from 12.3 million in 1990 to 17.3 million in 2013, an increase of almost 41%.
The health and well-being of the planet’s largest generation of adolescents will shape both the future of the world’s health and the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to health, nutrition, education, gender equality, and food security. With the SDGs comes a renewed and expanded focus on adolescent health and well-being.
As the Zika virus advances, new science is emerging that can help decision-makers as they strive to stay ahead of this rapidly evolving situation. Thanks to IHME Professor Simon Hay and colleagues, policymakers in the US and the UK now have detailed information about where Zika could spread next.
After the 2014-2015 West African Ebola outbreak, Dr. David Pigott, IHME Assistant Professor, and Prof. Simon Hay, IHME Director of Geospatial Science, became interested in understanding areas at greatest risk of future Ebola virus disease outbreaks. They decided to apply geospatial analysis techniques, used to improve the spatial resolution at which we map diseases, to create an Ebola Mapping Tool that produces a geographical picture of the potential risk of an Ebola outbreak in Africa.
Since the Iranian revolution in 1979, Iran’s government has invested extensively in providing primary care to its people, even in the most remote corners of the country.
For the past few months, IHME has been collaborating with the prestigious JAMA: The Journal of the American Medical Association on a series of infographics, beginning with one on HIV mortality, incidence, and prevalence, and most recently mortality rates in children under 5 years of age. The IHME-JAMA infographics have proven highly successful; “When and Why People Die in the United States, 1990-2013,” published in January 2016, has already garnered more than 27,000 views.
A recent press briefing at the annual conference of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) reminded us that air pollution kills millions of people, especially in Asia.
With its recently unveiled 2016-2020 strategic plan, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is aiming to replicate this success for other diseases that cause the most early death and disability in the US and worldwide. One of the factors the NIH will consider when determining how to best direct public resources is burden of disease data, which allow decision-makers to directly compare the impact of diseases that kill, such as cancer, and conditions that disable, such as depression. The use of burden of disease data will harmonize decision-making across the agency’s nearly 30 institutes and centers. By working with its partners – including the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation – the NIH will collect and integrate high-quality burden of disease data into its priority-setting processes.
For this year’s World AIDS Day, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) is calling for heightened efforts to end AIDS by 2030. To achieve this ambitious goal, UNAIDS has implored its global and country partners to look beyond traditional models of program implementation and service delivery. The report, On the Fast-Track to end AIDS by 2030: Focus on location and population, emphasizes an area of particular promise, a mechanism to optimize HIV service delivery: improving program efficiency.
Many of India’s 29 states are larger than most of the world’s countries. Uttar Pradesh alone, for example, has as many people as Brazil: 200 million. But this country within a country can be hidden by the other 1 billion people in India. That means that the health challenges of different parts of India can be hidden by the overall health trends at the national level.
Last week, the world lost a tireless champion against malaria, a remarkable scientist, and a good friend. Like the many people, organizations, and communities Alan Magill so positively affected, I have been struck by his sudden passing.
From 2000 to 2014, countries and donors spent a combined $207 billion on children’s health – and saved the lives of 34 million children. To come up with this number, we partnered with the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Financing the Health Millennium Development Goals and for Malaria to create a tool, the Lives Saved Scorecard, that will allow governments, policymakers, and donors to track investments in child health and to link these investments to child deaths averted across countries in a comparable way.
In 2013, Botswana Ministry of Health officials shared findings from the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) 2010 Study with President Khama. The GBD findings revealed that alcohol use was the leading risk factor for disease burden in the country in 2010, and the burden associated with this cause had increased 145% since 1990. For President Khama, the GBD findings vindicated his actions to curb the effects of harmful alcohol use and strengthened his resolve to reduce it.
Data from civil registration and disease surveillance programs are vital for pinpointing the diseases and injuries that are cutting lives short and causing suffering around the world. Unfortunately, huge gaps in these crucial data sources present major challenges to evidence-based health policymaking. That is why we at IHME welcome the Data for Health initiative, funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, which aims to improve the availability of birth and death records and non-communicable disease surveillance data.
Rodrigo Guerrero, the mayor of Cali, Colombia, was the inaugural winner of the Roux Prize in 2014. IHME’s Director of Communications, William Heisel, asked him about the work that led to his nomination, what the prize meant to him, and his hopes for how the Roux Prize might spur more evidence-based decision-making in the future.
Dr. Binagwaho is using Global Burden of Disease data to improve the health of Rwandans in two major ways: directly, by using GBD results to prioritize policy and health focus areas, and collaboratively, by training Ministry of Health staff to better understand these measures and metrics, and by sharing data collected locally to improve GBD estimates.
Trends in the world’s most populous countries have a huge impact on the global health picture overall. If the child mortality rate improves even modestly in a country as big as India, it can have enormous implications for the total number of children who die before the age of 5 every year. That’s one of the reasons it was such an important step for global health efforts when China took an active role in the Global Burden of Disease project.
Dr. Rodrigo Guerrero, a Harvard-trained epidemiologist and mayor of Cali, Colombia, won the inaugural Roux Prize in 2014. He has dedicated his career to bettering his community by preventing violence in what has historically been one of the most violent cities in the world.
Michael Bloomberg built his media company by using data to make smart decisions and by selling data. Then, when he took on the role of New York City Mayor, Bloomberg turned to a different kind of data: disease burden evidence.
Change isn’t always easy, but sometimes it’s essential to help you reach your goals.
On paper, it can sound like a straightforward goal: reduce tobacco usage worldwide to lower the health impacts from cancer and cardiovascular disease. Achieving it is far from easy.