Good Health and Well-being
Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG 3 or Global Goal 3), regarding “Good Health and Well-being”. The official wording is: “To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” The targets of SDG 3 cover and focus on various aspects of healthy life and healthy lifestyle. Progress towards the targets is measured using twenty-one indicators.
SDG 3 has 13 targets and 28 indicators to measure progress toward targets. The first nine targets are “outcome targets”. Those are:
- reduction of maternal mortality;
- ending all preventable deaths under five years of age;
- fight communicable diseases;
- ensure reduction of mortality from non-communicable diseases and promote mental health;
- prevent and treat substance abuse; reduce road injuries and deaths;
- grant universal access to sexual and reproductive care, family planning and education;
- achieve universal health coverage;
- reduce illnesses and deaths from hazardous chemicals and pollution. The four “means to achieving” SDG 3 targets are: implement the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control; support research, development and universal access to affordable vaccines and medicines; increase health financing and support health workforce in developing countries; and improve early warning systems for global health risks. SDG 3 aims to achieve universal health coverage, that seeks equitable access of healthcare services to all men and women. It proposes to end the preventable death of newborns, infants and children under five (child mortality) and end epidemics. Good health is essential to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda. Considering the global pandemic of COVID-19, there is a need to give significant attention towards the realization of good health and well being on a global scale.
Ensuring that every child survives and thrives depends on a combination of high-impact interventions – including quality antenatal, delivery and postnatal care for mothers and their newborns, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, immunisation to protect children from infectious diseases and access to adequate and nutritious food.
The UNDP reports that “every 2 seconds, someone aged 30 to 70 years dies prematurely from noncommunicable diseases – cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease, diabetes or cancer.”
According to statistics, globally, “2.4 million children died in the first month of life in 2019 – approximately 6,700 neonatal deaths every day – with about a third of all neonatal deaths occurring within the first day after birth, and close to three-quarters occurring within the first week of life.
Significant steps have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common causes of child and maternal mortality. Between 2000 and 2016, the worldwide under-five mortality rate decreased by 47% (from 78 deaths per 1,000 live births to 41 deaths per 1,000 live births). Still, the number of children dying under age five is extremely high: 5.6 million in 2016 alone. New-borns account for a growing number of these deaths, and poorer children are at the greatest risk of under-five mortality due to a number of factors. SDG 3 aims to reduce under-five mortality to as low as 25 per 1,000 live births. But if current trends continue, more than 60 countries will miss the SDG neonatal mortality target for 2030. About half of these countries would not reach the target even by 2050.
Reports by UNICEF, WHO, the World Bank and UNDESA indicate that sixty million children under five will die between 2017 and 2030 despite the fact that the number of children dying in 2016 was low (5.6m) compared to 2000 (9.9m). SDG 3 also aims to reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births. Though the maternal mortality ratio declined by 37 per cent between 2000 and 2015, there were approximately 303,000 maternal deaths worldwide in 2015, most from preventable causes. Similarly, progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation and on reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Advances in technologies such as the internet have enabled the digitization of health records and easier access to online medical resources for doctors and health workers, leading to improvements in patient treatment and outcomes.