HIV and cancer top worry for old and young alike

Wednesday October 10 2018

Cancer and HIV/Aids are the most worrying

Cancer and HIV/Aids are the most worrying health issues for both young people and adults in the world. FOTOSEARCH 

By FELISTA WANGARI
More by this Author

Cancer and HIV/Aids are the most worrying health issues for both young people and adults in the world, according to the Goalkeepers Global Youth Outlook Poll that was released last week.

According to the poll commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and conducted by Ipsos in July and August, 58 per cent of adults and 31 per cent of youth, named cancer as the most pressing health concern.

Overall, HIV/Aids was the leading concern in Kenya (where one out of two participants listed it as the leading health issue).

Nigeria came in second, with three out of 10 respondents mentioning it as the leading health issue, followed by Mexico, where it was singled out as the third leading health concern after cancer and diabetes.

HIV/Aids was the second most pressing concern for youth, with one out of five listing it as a problem, against only eight per cent among adults.

Youth from Kenya (58 per cent), Nigeria (40 per cent) and Mexico (23 per cent) were the most disturbed by HIV/Aids; while those from Mexico (56 per cent), Brazil (45 per cent) and France (44 per cent) were most disturbed by cancer.

Just like the youth, adults in Mexico and France named cancer as the leading health problem. Other countries where participants felt cancer was a big deal were Mexico (57 per cent) and France (52 per cent).

While heart disease and diabetes were the third and fourth leading health concerns for adults around the world, less than 10 per cent of respondents mentioned it as a concern.

In the survey of more than 40,000 respondents from 15 countries including Kenya and Nigeria, 21 per cent of adults and 15 per cent of youth said that health issues were the most worrying.

Participants were aged 12 and above, and were grouped into higher-income countries (Australia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Sweden, the US and Saudi Arabia), and lower- and middle-income countries (Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria and Russia), as per World Bank rankings.

All the surveys were conducted online, except in Kenya, Nigeria and India, where interviews were conducted face to face.

When the respondents were asked about access to good quality healthcare, 65 per cent of youth and 58 per cent of adults said that they had access to good quality healthcare.

Youth in India (78 per cent), Australia (74 per cent) and Great Britain and China (73 per cent) reported having access to better quality healthcare than those from the other countries included in the survey.

Their counterparts in Brazil (more than half), Russia (38 per cent) and Nigeria (34 per cent) were less satisfied with the quality of their healthcare.

For adults, those from India rated their access to good quality healthcare highly. However, Brazil and Russia broke away from the pack, with more than half of adults (54 and 55 per cent respectively) saying that they did not have access to god quality healthcare.

Adult and youth respondents from the US were more likely to be living within 15 minutes from a healthcare facility, while those from Kenya, took the longest time (30 to 60 minutes) to get to the nearest health facility.

Most youth said they could access healthcare within 30 minutes of their homes, but again, the Kenyan ones (45 per cent) took the longest time (30 to 60 minutes) to reach a healthcare facility.

Adults from Mexico, Germany and Russia reported the easiest access to contraceptives against a global average of 76 per cent.

While access to contraceptives was lower among youth across the board, those in Europe (Germany and France) reported the easiest access to contraceptives, while those in Africa (Nigeria and Kenya) said that they did not have access to birth control.

Easy to gain

Many youth in Australia and Great Britain, did not know whether it was easy to gain access to contraceptives in their countries.

Outside of health, the most worrying issues were security, unemployment and environment for both adults and youth.

The generations diverged after that with adults adding economic instability as the other worrying issue, while for youth, education was a major concern.

Both adults and youth listed ending poverty and improving education as the main issues global leaders should focus on.

Nevertheless, both adults and youth believed that their life conditions would improve in the next 15 years and that their generation would have a positive impact on the world than their parents’ generation.

More than 60 per cent of the respondents said that sustainable development goals are important, but youth in Nigeria, Great Britain and Australia, and adults in Great Britain, Nigeria and the US were most likely to say they had never heard of the goals that aim to end poverty and deal with 17 other pressing global problems by 2030.