LONDON, NETRALNEWS.COM - More than half of all deaths have no causes listed, making health monitoring and policy making much more difficult, the World Health Organization (WHO) says on Thursday (5/19).
However, an increase in statistical data collection shows that 27 million of the 56 million deaths worldwide in 2015 have been accounted for compared to only about a third in 2005, according to the latest health report by the UN health agency.
WHO said several countries, including China and Turkey, have made significant moves in data collection. In Iran, he said, 90 percent of deaths are now accounted for in detail, as compared to only 5 percent in 1999.
Meanwhile, other things have increased significantly in recent years, many countries have not collected high-quality health data on a regular basis, said Marie-Paule Kieny, WHO's Deputy Director-General for Systems and Health Innovation.
"If the country does not know what makes people sick and die, it is much harder to know what to do about it," she said.
WHO is working with countries to strengthen health information systems and improve data quality, he said.
This year's WHO report focuses on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations, a set of internationally agreed targets adopted by 2015 to track issues such as health, climate, sanitation and economic inequality.
It was found that while maternal and infant mortality rates declined, the global neonatal mortality rate in 2015 was 19 per 1,000 live births, and the mortality rate under five years was 43 per 1,000 live births.
About 830 women die every day due to complications of pregnancy or childbirth by 2015, Marie-Paule added.
Looking at infectious diseases, it was found that about 2.1 million new people were infected with HIV by 2015, 35 percent less than in 2000.
The report finds about 212 million malaria sufferers worldwide by 2015 and about 60 percent of residents at risk of developing mosquitoes have access to an insecticide treatment network in 2015, as compared to 34 percent in 2010.