Spread the word!

Have there been improvements in the health related sustainable development goals?

This analysis of 33 health related sustainable development goals was based on the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study 2015. Dr. Krueger was one of the collaborators on this global research project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Measuring the Health-Related Sustainable Development Goals in 188 Countries: A Baseline Analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015

improvement health related sustainable development

GBD 2015 SDG Collaborators. Published online Sept 21, 2016. www.thelancet.com  

The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals have been called "senseless, dreamy, garbled", given that they include 17 goals, 159 targets and 230 indicators. Bill and Melinda Gates were among the earliest skeptics. They argued that the goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time bound and easy to communicate.

​The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation has taken on the task of making the health related sustainable development goals relevant and useful. Have they succeeded? The simple answer is yes. They have developed an index that clearly helps to communicate countries' progress toward the goals.

​How did nations compare on the SDG index?

A nation’s SDG index score is based on a scale of zero to 100. Iceland tops the list with a score of 85. The lowest-scoring nation was the Central African Republic, at 20. The United States has a score of 75, just behind Slovenia, Greece, and Japan, all at 76.

Nations with the Top 10 SDG Index Scores:

1. Iceland (85)

2. Singapore (85)

3. Sweden (85)

4. Andorra (83)

5. United Kingdom (82)

6. Finland (82)

7. Spain (82)

8. Netherlands (82)

9. Canada (81)

10. Australia (81)

​What were the top findings?

  • There has been significant improvement in child and maternal survival over the past 25 years.
  • More skilled doctors, nurses, and midwives are assisting with child deliveries.
  • Many countries have increased access to essential health services, especially antiretroviral therapies to treat HIV and the availability of malaria nets.
  • Fewer people are dying from unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation, as well as air pollution.
  • Countries with higher socio-demographic standing saw faster declines in deaths from chronic disease, road injuries, and violence.
  • Countries in the lower socio-demographic groups saw faster declines in childhood wasting and stunting.

What challenges were many nations still facing?

  • An increasing prevalence of childhood obesity
  • An increasing prevalence of harmful alcohol consumption
  • Death caused by violence