Globally, major progress has been made toward enhancing health and saving the lives of millions of people over the last 20 years. Life expectancy has increased, maternal and child mortality rates have decreased, and we’ve diligently fought against many life-threatening, communicable diseases.
The number of children who die before the age of five decreased from 12.6 million in 1990 to 5.4 million in 2017—a decline of 58 percent. The number of women who die from childbirth and pregnancy complications reduced by 35 percent in the last 10 years alone. In 2018, the number of adults and children dying from HIV-related infections was estimated at 770,000—roughly a 45 percent decline from the peak of the disease in 2004.
While this progress is remarkable, there are still millions of people dying unnecessarily each year from preventable yet life-threatening diseases including malaria and water-borne illnesses. Neglected tropical diseases remain a major threat in many countries, while emerging global health challenges such as global pandemics, urbanization, non-communicable diseases, and mental illness place increasing strain on communities and health systems.
Concerted efforts are needed to tackle persistent inequities in health outcomes caused by malnutrition, inadequate access to clean water and sanitation, limited access to education and health services, and gender-based violence. This is why PCI remains committed to enhancing health by addressing preventable maternal, newborn, and child deaths, fighting life-threatening diseases, and ensuring access to clean water and sanitation—especially in communities facing extreme poverty.