Bloomberg's Henning Explains Why Understanding Death Leads to Better Health
Last week the World Health Organization announced a new partner in its effort to combat noncommunicable diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, which — together with injuries — account for roughly 80 percent of deaths worldwide. Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor and billionaire philanthropist, is the WHO’s new global ambassador for noncommunicable diseases.
Bloomberg takes a famously data-driven approach to public policy, and the same is true for the foundation he founded, Bloomberg Philanthropies. Last year the foundation launched a four-year, $100 million Data for Health initiative that seeks to help ministries of health understand what people are dying from in their countries.
“The goal here is really to address this giant gap, whereby we know 65 percent of deaths in the world — that’s about 35 million — go unrecorded,” said Dr. Kelly Henning, who has led the Bloomberg Philanthropies public health program since it started in 2007...