Hot on the Horizon: 11 Global Health Issues to Keep an Eye on in 2023, as Predicted by IHME Experts

Mental Health Crisis Hot on the Horizon: 11 Global Health Issues to Keep an Eye on in 2023, as Predicted by IHME Experts
Hot on the Horizon: 11 Global Health Issues to Keep an Eye on in 2023, as Predicted by IHME Experts

Hot on the Horizon: 11 Global Health Issues to Keep an Eye on in 2023, as Predicted by IHME Experts


The year 2023 is shaping up to be a critical one in terms of global health. With the world still reeling from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to stay informed about the emerging health issues that could have a significant impact on our lives. The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) has identified 11 key global health issues that are expected to gain prominence in the coming year. In this article, we will delve into each of these issues, explore their implications, and discuss the steps being taken to address them.

1. Mental Health Crisis

One of the most pressing global health issues in recent years has been the growing mental health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this crisis, with the isolation, fear, and uncertainty contributing to widespread psychological distress. In 2023, the mental health crisis is expected to continue, with an increased demand for mental health services and support.

Governments and organizations around the world are recognizing the urgent need to prioritize mental health. Initiatives such as expanded access to mental health care, increased funding for research, and public awareness campaigns are being undertaken to address this issue. It is crucial to prioritize mental health and destigmatize seeking help for mental health concerns in order to ensure the well-being of individuals and communities.

2. Climate Change and Health

Climate change is not only an environmental concern but also a significant threat to global health. Rising global temperatures, extreme weather events, and changing ecosystems have profound implications for human health. The impacts range from increased heat-related illnesses to the spread of vector-borne diseases and malnutrition due to changing agricultural patterns.

In 2023, the health risks associated with climate change are expected to intensify. Efforts are being made to mitigate these risks and adapt to the changing climate. These include transitioning to clean energy sources, implementing sustainable agricultural practices, and improving infrastructure to withstand the impact of extreme weather events. Collaborative global action is crucial to address the health challenges posed by climate change.

3. Antimicrobial Resistance

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a growing global health issue that threatens the effectiveness of antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs. Overuse and misuse of antibiotics have led to the emergence of drug-resistant bacteria and pathogens, making it increasingly difficult to treat certain infections. In 2023, the problem of AMR is expected to escalate, posing a significant threat to global health security.

Efforts to combat antimicrobial resistance involve improving antibiotic stewardship, promoting responsible use of antibiotics in healthcare settings, and developing new antimicrobial drugs. Additionally, public education on the appropriate use of antibiotics plays a crucial role in curbing the spread of drug-resistant infections. A concerted global effort is required to address AMR and safeguard the effectiveness of antibiotics for future generations.

4. Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy has become a global concern, with misinformation and skepticism leading to decreased vaccination rates. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of vaccines in preventing the spread of infectious diseases, yet vaccine hesitancy persists. In 2023, efforts to counter vaccine hesitancy will be crucial in order to achieve widespread immunization and control the spread of communicable diseases.

Public health campaigns, accurate information dissemination, and community engagement are key strategies in addressing vaccine hesitancy. It is essential to build trust in vaccines and promote vaccine literacy to ensure that individuals make informed decisions about vaccinations. By addressing vaccine hesitancy, we can protect individuals and communities from preventable diseases.

5. Aging Population and Health Care

The global population is aging at an unprecedented rate, presenting unique challenges for healthcare systems worldwide. As the proportion of older adults grows, there is a need for comprehensive and sustainable healthcare solutions that address the specific needs of this population. In 2023, the focus on aging population and healthcare is expected to gain further attention.

Investments in geriatric healthcare, specialized services for older adults, and research on age-related diseases are critical to meet the healthcare needs of the aging population. Promoting healthy aging, improving long-term care facilities, and implementing policies that support older adults are essential steps towards creating age-friendly healthcare systems.

6. Non-Communicable Diseases

Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory conditions are responsible for a significant burden of disease worldwide. The prevalence of NCDs is expected to rise in 2023, fueled by lifestyle factors, aging populations, and limited access to healthcare in some regions.

Prevention and early detection of NCDs are key strategies for reducing their impact. Efforts to promote healthy lifestyles, improve access to healthcare, and enhance screening and diagnostic services are essential in tackling the growing burden of NCDs. Collaborative approaches involving governments, healthcare providers, and communities are required to address this global health issue.

7. Mental Health Stigma

While mental health issues have gained increased attention in recent years, stigma surrounding mental health remains a significant barrier to care. The negative attitudes and discrimination associated with mental health problems prevent individuals from seeking help and contribute to social exclusion. In 2023, efforts to reduce mental health stigma are of utmost importance.

Education, awareness campaigns, and advocacy play a crucial role in challenging the stigma and misconceptions surrounding mental health. By promoting empathy, understanding, and acceptance, we can create an environment that supports individuals struggling with mental health issues. Achieving mental health equity requires a comprehensive approach that addresses both stigma and access to care.

8. Maternal and Child Health

Maternal and child health are critical indicators of societal well-being. Despite significant progress in recent years, maternal and child mortality rates remain high in many parts of the world. In 2023, the focus on maternal and child health is expected to continue, with a particular emphasis on reducing preventable deaths and improving healthcare access for vulnerable populations.

Investments in quality maternal and child healthcare services, access to prenatal and postnatal care, and comprehensive reproductive health education are essential in reducing maternal and child mortality. Promoting gender equality, empowering women, and addressing social determinants of health are critical components of improving maternal and child health outcomes.

9. Substance Abuse and Addiction

Substance abuse and addiction pose significant challenges to global health and well-being. The availability and misuse of drugs, including opioids, stimulants, and psychoactive substances, contribute to a range of health issues, including overdose deaths, mental health disorders, and societal disruptions. In 2023, addressing substance abuse and addiction will require a comprehensive and multi-faceted approach.

Prevention programs, access to treatment and rehabilitation services, and community support networks are vital in addressing substance abuse and addiction. Combating the illicit drug trade, reducing drug-related harm, and promoting evidence-based interventions form the foundation of effective strategies to tackle this global health issue.

10. Health Inequities

Health inequities, characterized by unequal access to healthcare and disparities in health outcomes, persist across the globe. In 2023, addressing health inequities is expected to be at the forefront of global health initiatives. Understanding and combating the social, economic, and environmental factors that contribute to health disparities is essential in achieving health equity for all.

Efforts to improve access to quality healthcare, reduce socioeconomic disparities, and address the social determinants of health are crucial in narrowing health inequities. Collaborative action at global, national, and local levels is essential to tackle this complex issue and ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to lead a healthy life.

11. Emerging Infectious Diseases

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of global health systems to emerging infectious diseases. As the world becomes more interconnected, the risk of novel pathogens and infectious outbreaks increases. In 2023, the focus on preparedness and response to emerging infectious diseases is expected to remain high.

Investments in surveillance systems, research and development of vaccines and treatments, and international collaboration are essential in effectively responding to emerging infectious diseases. Strengthening public health infrastructure, promoting early detection and rapid response capabilities, and implementing evidence-based infection control measures are key strategies in mitigating the impact of future outbreaks.


The year 2023 holds several significant challenges for global health. From the mental health crisis to climate change, antimicrobial resistance to vaccine hesitancy, each of these issues requires urgent attention and collaborative action. By staying informed about these emerging health issues and supporting the efforts being made to address them, we can work towards a healthier, more resilient world. It is up to governments, organizations, and individuals to prioritize global health and take the necessary steps to safeguard the well-being of all.[2]

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