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Health at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2016

Measuring Progress towards Universal Health Coverage

image of Health at a Glance: Asia/Pacific 2016

This fourth edition of Health at a Glance Asia/Pacific presents a set of key indicators of health status, the determinants of health, health care resources and utilisation, health care expenditure and financing and health care quality across 27 Asia-Pacific countries and economies. Drawing on a wide range of data sources, it builds on the format used in previous editions of Health at a Glance, and gives readers a better understanding of the factors that affect the health of populations and the performance of health systems in these countries and economies.

Each of the indicators is presented in a user-friendly format, consisting of charts illustrating variations across countries and over time, brief descriptive analyses highlighting the major findings conveyed by the data, and a methodological box on the definition of the indicator and any limitations in data comparability. An annex provides additional information on the demographic context in which health systems operate.

This edition is a joint OECD, WHO/WPRO and WHO/SEARO publication.

 

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Preterm birth and low birth weight

Preterm birth (i.e. before 37 completed weeks of gestation) is the leading cause of neonatal death (i.e. during the first four weeks of life or days 0-27) and the second leading cause of death in children under 5 (see indicator Under age 5 mortality in ). Many survivors of preterm births also face a lifetime of disability, including learning disabilities and visual and hearing problems. But preterm birth can be largely prevented. Three-quarters of deaths associated with preterm birth can be saved without intensive care facilities. Current cost-effective interventions include warmth (skin to skin contact within the first minute of birth), kangaroo mother care and early initiation of breastfeeding (within the first hour of birth) and basic care for infections and breathing difficulties (WHO, 2013d; see indicator Infant mortality in ). Preterm birth rates can be also reduced if women, particularly adolescents, have better access to family planning and increased empowerment, as well as improved care during pregnancies (see indicator Reproductive health in ).

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