Each year, over 55 million people die. Many of these deaths are preventable. The most common cause of death in the world is heart disease, killing over 7 million a year. Stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD, including emphysema and bronchitis), lower respiratory infections like pneumonia and influenza, and respiratory cancers like lung cancer, follow as killers. HIV/AIDS, diarrhea-causing illnesses, diabetes, birth complications and tuberculosis are also leading causes of death.

Tobacco use, poor nutrition and being overweight contribute to both heart disease and stroke. Air pollution and tobacco contribute to COPD and respiratory cancers. Diarrhea-causing diseases, which kill about 1 ½ million people per year, are transmitted through contaminated food or water. 5,700 people become infected with HIV every day.

The tragedy is that so many of these deaths are preventable. Lives are unnecessarily cut short through lack of appropriate health knowledge, absence of proper medical treatment and avoidable behaviors.