While bar charts, line graphs and simple numbers are hardly capable of providing the defining answer to many economic, social and political questions, they are certainly a good way of obtaining a general overview of any particular subject.
Each month the Business Supplement will look into a brace of statistical information and provide readers with what we consider to be the central elements of these figures.
Deaths from Non Communicable Diseases still worryingly high
Non Communicable Diseases (NCD’s) are diseases that are not caught from other people such as viruses, but can be attributed to lifestyle or even the environment. Worldwide deaths from NCDS include cardio vascular diseases (44%), cancers (22%), diabetes (4%), and chronic respiratory diseases (9%), amongst others.
Premature deaths from NCD’s is higher in South East Asia (23%), the Eastern Mediterranean, (24%) and Africa (22%), and lower in Europe (17%), the Western Pacific (16%) and the Americas (15%). The latter may be surprising given that obesity in the U.S. (and to a large extent in Europe) is considered a large contributing factor to diabetes and heart disease.
In Asia, statistics vary from country to country in the region. Total NCD deaths of all types of people within the range of 30 to 69 years old, compared to all other deaths reveal that Thailand has close to the average with a 74% ratio. Even Singapore with its cleaner air and higher wealth base had the same ratio at 74%. Vietnam had the highest ratio of large population countries with a rate of 77%.
The Philippines had one of the lowest rates at 67%. Myanmar also came in just behind at 68%. Laos, with its smaller population, had the lowest of all ratios at 60%.
The World Health Organisation assistant director general, Dr Svetlana Akselrod, was quoted as saying, “The human toll of NCDs is unacceptable.”
Economic Inclusivity Index reveals progress
The Inclusive Development Index (IDI) shows economic inclusivenessand is a good indication of the criteria used to measure economic progress.IDI scores are based on a scale of 1 to 7 with 7 being the best and 1 the worst.
Most countries in Asia have shown good improvements in the latest data, which spans from 2012 to 2016.
In a list of selected Asian nations,Thailand is in third place, scoring 4.24 in the IDI index, up 1.93 per cent in the period.
First place went to Malaysia with a score of 4.30 and an increase of 2.40 per cent.
India came close to the bottom with an IDI score of 3.09 but still grew at 2.29 per cent. The Philippines came in at 9th in the list ahead of Sri Lanka with an IDI score of 3.83 up 2.40 per cent.
Of those that were moving backwards, Laos had an IDI score of 3.22 but its improvement score was minus 4.57 per cent. Vietnam also, surprisingly, lost ground by 1.37 per cent, but scored quite well in the index at 3.98.