To some, the world may seem to be filled with unsolvable problems, but, in fact, there are many areas where positive change is happening, including on global health issues.

This month, the World Health Organization (WHO) released its annual World Health Statistics report, which monitors countries’ progress on health-related targets in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These global goals aim to create a world of dignity for all and include a goal on promoting health and well-being.

Many of the numbers in the report are sobering and a reminder that the international community has work to do to improve health and achieve the SDGs. Disparities continue to exist, with many people left behind from access to quality health care and treatment.

Yet, there are also many signs of hope – significant strides that are being made thanks to the collective work of the United Nations, countries, civil society, health workers, companies, and many other partners. For example, the quality of data collection has improved in many places, as has disease prevention and access to adequate health care.

Here are five facts of progress from this year’s report.

1. The global under-5 mortality rate declined by 44% since 2000.

2. Since 2000, new HIV cases have decreased by 35%.

3. In 2015, about 60% of the population that is at risk for malaria had access to insecticide-treated nets, compared to just 34% in 2010

4. 86% of children receive their DTP3 vaccine, and administration of all three doses of hepatitis B vaccine reached 84% in 2015.

5. The risk of dying from one of the four major non-communicable diseases – diabetes, cancer, chronic lung disease, and cardiovascular disease – declined by 17% among people ages 30-70 since 2000.

While we need to continue to invest and innovate to ensure every person has access to quality health care, these facts show we can make a difference in the world if we act.

To learn more about the report, click here.

[Photo: WHO]