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Improving Health in the Americas: Preventable Early Death – Global Perspective


Apr 2, 2024

In recent decades, there have been significant improvements in people’s general health conditions, leading to increased life expectancy at birth in most countries in the Region of the Americas. These improvements are a result of advances in health technology such as antibiotics, vaccines, and other treatments, as well as enhancements in living conditions including better access to improved drinking water, sanitation, and health services. However, progress has slowed in recent years, with varying achievements among countries and territories.

On the journey towards universal health, it is crucial to have the ability to monitor and assess progress in terms of the ultimate goal of health systems: improving the health and well-being of populations. This edition of Health in the Americas analyzes the standardized rate of potentially avoidable premature mortality as an indicator of health system performance. It considers both the preventable component through public and intersectoral health interventions, as well as the treatable component related to the effectiveness of health services – the quality of healthcare.

The analysis of potentially avoidable premature mortality provides a metric for comparing and tracking performance over time, playing a crucial role in holding health systems accountable in the Region of the Americas. Additionally, this analysis highlights the importance of investing not only in healthcare services but also in addressing broader social and environmental determinants of health. This approach is essential for ensuring equity in health outcomes across countries.

By recognizing the significance of these determinants, countries can develop comprehensive strategies that encompass not only healthcare but also social policies aimed at reducing inequalities and improving overall population health.

By editor

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