A girl is treated for suspected cholera infection at a hospital in Sanaa, Yemen. There were more than 1 million cases of cholera in the country between April 2017 and April 2018. Hani Mohammed/AP
At year's end, global health numbers offer reason for both hope and despair.
There is one strong positive note. An overriding public health finding is that people are living longer. "If that's not a bottom line reason for optimism," says Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute and the T.H. Chan School of Public Health, "I don't know what is."
And then there are the million-plus cases of cholera in Yemen — deemed "a hideous milestone for the 21st century" by the International Committee of the Red Cross.
Note: Because of the way global numbers are gathered, it's too soon to report on health statistics from the year now drawing to a close. There are only a few yet available for 2018 — polio cases, for example, and Ebola deaths in Democratic Republic of the Congo.
But there has been a constant stream of numbers released from the years just past. Unless otherwise noted, the numbers below represent the worldwide population.