Is the World Getting Healthier? 10 Highlights From a New WHO Report

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Our overview of good news and bad news from the World Health Organization's annual World Health Statistics round-up

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A doctor checks a child's eyes at a community health center in Jakarta, Indonesia. Beawiharta Beawiharta/Reuters


Each year the World Health Organization puts together a report summarizing the state of health in its 193 member countries. Part of the report focuses on global achievements in reaching the WHO's "Millennium Development Goals," which it set in 2000, hoping to accelerate global progress in development and especially sexual and reproductive health. This year's report, released earlier this month, shows overall progress, but a closer look at certain regions reveals little to no improvement. For example, overall child mortality has decreased, but in Africa child mortality was higher than in 1990—a far cry from achieving the goal of a two-thirds reduction by 2015.

But it's not all bad news. Immunization rates have increased and incidences of malaria have decreased. Here is a look at some of the success stories and some of the less pleasant findings from the WHO's 2011 World Health Statistics report.

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Rebecca Greenfield is a writer based in Brooklyn. She was formerly on staff at The Atlantic Wire.

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