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WHO warns that social factors are key to health

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has released a landmark global report on world health, which claims that ‘social injustice is killing people on a grand scale’.

Looking at ‘global health inequity’ both within and between countries, the report identifies socioeconomic rather than biological factors as the key determinant of health.

‘The toxic combination of bad policies, economics, and politics is, in large measure, responsible for the fact that a majority of people in the world do not enjoy the good health that is biologically possible,’ the report says.

Figures show that average life expectancy in the UK currently stands at 79 years; coming below Japan’s 83 years but significantly higher than countries such as Lesotho at only 42 years and Mozambique at 50.

Within the UK, there were also some dramatic findings, the report showing that a boy born in the suburb of Caltonin Glasgow will live, on average, 28 years less than a boy born just a few miles away in Lenzie.

The Department of Health says they are taking the report very seriously, and will be hosting a conference in November with many global heads of state to discuss the implementation of the reports recommendations.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Social Injustice is occuring everywhere in every aspect of everyone's life. This is not a new thing. Our quality of life is not as good as it use to be. My husband and I came back to the UK from working in the USA and we have encountered social injustise on a grand scale, from letting agents to landlords to neighbours. We have a child and because we do, we have been rejected on many accounts from letting a flat. This is unfair and everyday feel discrimiation. We should be able to live where ever we choose. Private Landlords rebuild flats and refurbish all the time but they do not change the thinkness of the walls or provide sound proof cielings or floorings. Just as our neighbours can hear us, we can hear them especially in the middle of the night. These experiences and many others, have certainly decreased our quality of life and I am sure has decreased our lifespan.

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