Strategies to end preventable death are often complex, multifaceted, and global. The framework for monitoring, knowledge, research and evaluation of data, changes to the food and health systems, and strengthening vulnerable health systems are a few. This article outlines six strategies that address some of these issues. Read on to learn more. Below is a brief description of each.
Efforts to reduce or end preventable death need a comprehensive monitoring framework. The UK has a high standard of research, with three HMG departments contributing complementary strengths. In particular, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NHSCE) and the UK Research and Innovation-Medical Research Council are bringing strong expertise in health care. The EPMM monitoring framework is the culmination of these efforts.
The EPMM includes indicators for maternal mortality, newborn, and child mortality. In addition, the EPMM includes indicators for the Thrive and Transform agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. The framework supports global monitoring efforts and complements existing efforts. The EPMM project is a key example of an integrated approach to reducing preventable maternal mortality. It was recently released by the World Health Organization (WHO) and included recommendations for countries and organizations.
Knowledge, research, and evaluation of data
The world is significantly behind schedule regarding achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to reduce the preventable deaths of children under five years old and newborns. According to the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation, more than half the countries worldwide are on track to miss their target. But, despite its best intentions, many countries are still not reaching their targets. The goal is for all countries to reduce the number of preventable deaths by 2030 so that the number of babies born alive will be 12 or less.
Although the global causes of preventable deaths differ between countries, most deaths occur due to infectious diseases, malnutrition, and nutritional deficiencies. In low-income countries, the top causes of death include maternal deaths, malnutrition, and HIV/AIDS. Conversely, high-income countries report comparatively low rates of maternal deaths.
Strengthening fragile health systems
The UK government recently committed to ending preventable death by 2030 in low-income countries. A recent report by the FCDO sets out four core pillars of the EPD approach. These include strengthening health systems, addressing human rights and gender issues, improving air quality, and tackling climate change. Those pillars must be addressed if the goal is to be achieved. The report also outlines steps to take to meet the goal.
The framework outlines a balanced approach to strengthening fragile health systems. It identifies key barriers to progress and supports local change agents to improve equity, coverage, quality, and efficiency. The aims are to address disease causes, reduce costs, and increase access to health care. The framework can be applied to some settings, including developing countries, developing regions, and developing countries.
Reforms to food systems
For a healthy future, we must transform our food systems. The current methods of producing staple foods do not provide a healthy diet for most people. Approximately three-quarters of food production goes to feed livestock, while only 12% goes to human consumption. Reforms to food systems must improve nutrition and make our staple foods more sustainable. By 2030, we need to reduce food waste by at least 50%.
The various domains of the food system must work together rather than separately. Governments should shift subsidies and insurance to specialty crops, ensuring that healthy foods are produced. Food producers should also receive higher wages, as taxpayers no longer subsidize low-wage labor. Furthermore, federal preemption laws should be amended to limit the power of giant food corporations and their power to shape the American diet. The USDA should also shift its subsidies to specialty crops instead of commodity crops and eliminate tax breaks for marketing unhealthy food.
Interventions in conflict-affected settings
Delivering high-quality health care in fragile settings is a major challenge, particularly in areas with many challenges. Health care providers face many challenges in these settings, including inadequate funding and governance, a lack of accountability, and limited resources. These issues combine to produce substantial levels of mortality and morbidity. Furthermore, ineffective care may exacerbate existing public health crises and waste limited health resources.
Conflict-affected settings pose particular challenges in terms of patient safety. Conflict damages public health systems, and these conditions negatively affect the most vulnerable groups. Recent estimates indicate that a substantial proportion of preventable deaths are caused by poor access to quality health care. Although the focus has been on universal health coverage, urgent action is required to ensure patients’ quality of care and safety in such settings.
Interventions targeting pregnancy-related deaths
Across the United States, sixty percent of pregnancy-related deaths are preventable. These deaths do not vary by race or ethnicity and often result from multiple factors. Therefore, interventions can target various factors, including reducing social inequities across the lifespan, improving health care for pregnant and postpartum women, and ensuring quality care. In addition, standard approaches to quality care can be implemented in all hospitals providing delivery services.
While the CDC’s National Maternal Mortality Surveillance System (PMSS) tracks maternal deaths in the US, state MMRCs use data to identify effective strategies for reducing pregnancy-related deaths. However, CDC data are often incomplete and might not accurately reflect the circumstances of every maternal death. For example, some preventable deaths might result from an unintentional sex-related or substance-use disorder. Still, not all of these deaths can be prevented by changing a pregnant woman’s behavior.