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The Latest Report on the Health of All Humanity

By Dr. Arthur Lavin

Bill and Melinda Gates and their Foundation have always held health as a top priority, and so they know quite a bit about how the health of all of us on the planet is faring.

Each year they are now issuing a report annually, and the one for 2017 was recently published.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/18/health/bill-melinda-gates-global-health-report-card.html?_r=0  the NY Times summary

http://www.globalgoals.org/goalkeepers/datareport/   the actual report

I thought given much gloom in the news lately that it would be helpful to know that people on our planet, our entire human community, is far healthier now than ever, with major gains made even since 1990.

Here is what they reported.

The #1 Reason Health Improves- Getting Rid of Poverty

Across the world, severe poverty is defined by making less than $1.90 a day, that’s less than an annual income of $400.

In 1990, 35% of all people ground out life making less than this amount.

In 2017, that number has dropped dramatically to 9%

Most of the progress was made in India and China.

Another Key Reason for Better Health- Fewer Kids

Across the world, for the first time ever, the number of births on the planet has stabilized, and appears to be no longer increasing.

There were 134 million of us born in 2017, and that number appears to be steady.

The Big Gains

  • Childhood mortality.  In 1990, 11 million children died by age 5, not that number has dropped dramatically to 6 million
  • Risk of death has plummeted since 2004
  • Risk of death has plummeted since 2005
  • Growth failure in childhood is steadily decreasing
  • Maternal mortality in childbirth is steadily decreasing
  • Suffering from even rare tropical diseases is steadily decreasing

Key Threat to Continued Success

The Gates Foundation helps, but the real muscle behind these gains is economic development in the poor countries, and major donations from the US.

Should the US cut back significantly on its support for world health, the key items to worsen will be AIDS and Malaria death rates.


  1. Wars continue to rage, politics to be on fire, but across the planet, real and dramatic improvements in health are happening, and happening now.
  2. The population explosion appears to have ceased.
  3. Extreme poverty is drying up.

There is room for hope.

To your health,
Dr. Arthur Lavin


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