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    WHO Reports Covid-19 Pandemic Resulted in Loss of Hundreds of Millions of Life Years

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    The World Health Organization (WHO) has released its annual world statistics report and found that the Covid-19 pandemic caused the loss of nearly 337 million life years in just two years due to premature deaths. The virus and its wider impact cut short the lives of millions of people globally. The WHO officially registered 5.4 million Covid deaths in 2020 and 2021, but excess mortality data shows around 14.9 million people likely died due to the crisis over that period. The report also highlighted a growing threat from non-communicable diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

    The pandemic has had a significant impact on health-related indicators that had been improving for years, such as maternal and child health. Inequalities in access to high-quality health care, routine immunisations and financial protection have deepened, sending the long-improving trends on malaria and tuberculosis in the opposite direction. The WHO warned that NCD deaths were increasing despite a reduction in exposure to many health risks, including tobacco use, alcohol consumption and unsafe water and sanitation. The report sends a stark message on the threat of noncommunicable diseases, which take an immense and increasing toll.

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