Sustainable Development Goals

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 3
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Progress of goal 3

  • Goal 3 seeks to ensure health and well-being for all, at every stage of life. The Goal addresses all major health priorities, including reproductive, maternal and child health; communicable, non-communicable and environmental diseases; universal health coverage; and access for all to safe, effective, quality and affordable medicines and vaccines. It also calls for more research and development, increased health financing, and strengthened capacity of all countries in health risk reduction and management.
  • Between 2000 and 2015, the global maternal mortality ratio, or number of maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, declined by 37 per cent, to an estimated ratio of 216 per 100,000 live births in 2015. Almost all maternal deaths occur in low-resource settings and can be prevented. Globally, 3 out of 4 births were assisted by skilled health-care personnel in 2015. Under-five mortality rates fell rapidly from 2000 to 2015, declining by 44 per cent globally. Nevertheless, an estimated 5.9 million children under the age of 5 died in 2015, with a global under-five mortality rate of 43 per 1,000 live births. The neonatal mortality rate, that is, the likelihood of dying in the first 28 days of life, declined from 31 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2000 to 19 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015. Over that period, progress in the rate of child survival among children aged 1 to 59 months outpaced advances in reducing neonatal mortality; as a result, neonatal deaths now represent a larger share (45 per cent) of all under-five deaths.
  • Preventing unintended pregnancy and reducing adolescent childbearing through universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services are critical to further advances in the health of women, children and adolescents. Worldwide, in 2015, approximately 3 in 4 women of reproductive age (15 to 49 years of age) who were married or in union satisfied their need for family planning by using modern contraceptive methods; in sub-Saharan Africa and Oceania, however, the share was less than half. Childbearing in adolescence has steadily declined in almost all regions, but wide disparities persist: in 2015, the birth rate among adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 ranged from 7 births per 1,000 girls in Eastern Asia to 102 births per 1,000 girls in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The incidence of major infectious diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, has declined globally since 2000. Globally in 2015, the number of new HIV infections among all people was 0.3 new infections per 1,000 uninfected people; 2.1 million people became newly infected that year. The incidence of HIV was highest in sub-Saharan Africa, with 1.5 new cases per 1,000 uninfected people. In 2014, 9.6 million new cases of tuberculosis (133 cases per 100,000 people) were reported worldwide, with 58 per cent of them in South-Eastern Asia and the Western Pacific. Almost half the world’s population is at risk of malaria and, in 2015, the incidence rate was 91 new cases per 1,000 people at risk, an estimated total of 214 million cases. Sub-Saharan Africa accounted for 89 per cent of all malaria cases worldwide, with an incidence rate of 235 cases per 1,000 people at risk. In 2014, at least 1.7 billion people, in 185 countries, required treatment for at least one neglected tropical disease.
  • According to estimates from 2012, around 38 million deaths per year, accounting for 68 per cent of all deaths worldwide, were attributable to non communicable diseases. Of all deaths among persons under the age of 70, commonly referred to as premature deaths, an estimated 52 per cent were as a result of non-communicable diseases. Over three quarters of premature deaths were caused by cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease. Globally, premature mortality from those four main categories of non communicable disease declined by 15 per cent between 2000 and 2012. Reducing tobacco use will be critical for meeting the proposed target of reducing premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by one third. In 2015, over 1.1 billion people consumed tobacco, with far more male (945 million) than female (180 million) smokers.
  • Unhealthy environmental conditions increase the risk of both non communicable and infectious diseases, which is reflected in the strong integrated nature of the Goals. In 2012, an estimated 889,000 people died from infectious diseases caused largely by faecal contamination of water and soil and by inadequate hand-washing facilities and practices resulting from poor or non-existent sanitation services. In 2012, household and ambient air pollution resulted in some 6.5 million deaths.
  • Substance use and substance-use disorders have also created a significant public health burden. Worldwide, average alcohol consumption in 2015 was estimated at 6.3l of pure alcohol per person among those aged 15 or older, with wide variations across countries. Alcohol consumption was highest in the developed regions (10.4l per person) and lowest in Northern Africa (0.5l per person). In 2013, only about 1 in 6 people worldwide suffering from drug-use disorders received treatment. Approximately 1 in 18 people with drug-use disorders received treatment in Africa that year, compared with 1 in 5 in Western and Central Europe.
  • Mental disorders occur in all regions and cultures. The most common are anxiety and depression, which, not infrequently, can lead to suicide. In 2012, an estimated 800,000 people worldwide committed suicide, and 86 per cent of them were under the age of 70. Globally, suicide is the second leading cause of death among those between the ages of 15 and 29.
  • Around 1.25 million people died from road traffic injuries in 2013. Halving the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents by 2020 is an ambitious goal given the dramatic increase in the number of vehicles, which nearly doubled between 2000 and 2013.
  • Total official flows from all providers for medical research and basic health sectors were $8.9 billion in 2014. Within this total, official development assistance (ODA) from DAC donors was $4.5 billion in 2014, an increase of 20 per cent in real terms since 2010, with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the United States of America accounting for $2.6 billion of that total. In 2014, $1 billion was spent on malaria control and $1.2 billion was spent on other infectious diseases, excluding AIDS.

 

Source: United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT KNOWLEDGE PLATFORM