The World Health Report 2003
Shaping the Future
The World Health Report 2003: Shaping the Future predicts that major global health improvements will be achieved in the next few years. Dr Jong-Wook Lee, Director-General of WHO, describes WHO's ambition, to help all people, but especially the poorest among them, to shape a better future. The report advocates a new drive for equitable health improvement as a vital part of global efforts for justice and security.
Drawing on lessons of the past, in particular the Health for All movement that was launched 25 years ago, this year's report focuses on the major health gains that are possible in the coming years and shows how WHO and the global health community can achieve these objectives.
Against a backdrop of the ambitious targets of the Millennium Development Goals, The World Health Report 2003 presents a comprehensive vision encompassing an analysis of today's major health challenges and an action programme for global health improvement. The section on infections singles out for special attention HIV/AIDS, poliomyelitis - whose elimination is within reach - and new infections including SARS. Another important section deals with the health of women and children. The focus of the non-communicable diseases section is on road traffic injuries and the continuing work on tobacco control.
In order to achieve the health improvements that are within their grasp, countries need well-functioning health systems. The report shows how systems can be strengthened, combining both primary care facilities and higher-level services linked by an efficient and integrated referral network. In this, as in all its work, WHO renews its commitment to working with countries in responding to national and local health challenges.
"We have a real opportunity now to make progress that will mean longer, healthier lives for millions of people. Sustained effort, increased resource commitments, and intensified collaboration among partners will be required."- Dr Jong-Wook Lee, Director-General WHO