The protection of life. The World Health Organization, the authoritative source on life statistics, says that they believe we have it in our capacity to improve our life spans. As it is, some of us are doing better than others — Japan has the longest living people on the planet (85 years for women, 79 for men) while the average life span in Afghanistan is only 48 years. Those who live shorter lives do so for a variety of reasons: limitations on resources, outbreak of disease, war.
Hunger is the world’s number one threat to health and life. According to the World Food Programme, more people a year die from not having enough to eat than from AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis combined.
In the United States, an average of 195,000 people die every year from preventable medical errors, according to studies. The average American hospital hand hygiene compliance rate is only between 30% and 50%. One out of every five Americans has either personally or had a family member who experienced a medical mistake.
So the question then is: if improvement is in fact attainable, how do we get there collectively?