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“If countries don’t know what makes people get sick and die, it’s a lot harder to know what to do about it” – Dr Marie-Paule Kieny

Produced by the WHO Department of Information, Evidence and Research, of the Health Systems and Innovation Cluster, in collaboration with all relevant WHO technical departments, the World Health Statistics report is one of WHO’s annual flagship publications and compiles health statistics for its 194 Member States. This year’s edition brings together a wide range of indicators that are relevant to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It provides a snapshot of both gains for, and threats to, the health of the world’s population.

The report is organized in three parts:

> Part 1 describes six lines of action which WHO is now promoting to help build better systems for health and to achieve the health and health-related SDGs.

> Part 2 summarizes the status of selected health-related SDG indicators at both global and regional level, based on data available as at early 2017.

> Part 3 presents a selection of stories that highlight recent successful efforts by countries to improve and protect the health of their populations through one or more of the six lines of action.

> Finally, Annexes A and B present country-level estimates for selected health-related SDG indicators.

Although the quality of health data has significantly improved over the past few years, many countries still do not routinely collect high-quality data to monitor health-related SDG indicators.

Progress towards the nutrition-related SDG target is outlined below:

Target 2.2: By 2030, end all forms of malnutrition, including achieving, by 2025, the internationally agreed targets on stunting and wasting in children under five years of age, and address the nutritional needs of adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women and older persons:

> 22.9% of children under five were stunted, ranging from 6.1% in the European region to 33.8% in the Southeast Asian region.

> 6.0% of children under five were overweight, ranging from 4.1% in the African region to 12.8% in the European region.

You can read the report here.

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