What’s the goal here?
To ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages is important to building prosperous societies. Major progress has been made in improving the health of millions of people. Maternal and child mortality rates have been reduced, life expectancy continues to increase glob-ally, and the fight against some infectious diseases has made steady progress. However, in the case of other diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, progress has slowed or stalled. At least half the world’s population is still without access to essential health services. In rich and poor countries alike, a health emergency can push people into bankruptcy or poverty.
What progress have we made so far?
Major progress has been made in several areas, including in child and maternal health as well as in addressing HIV/AIDS. Despite this progress, maternal mortality continues to affect women in low- and middle-income countries disproportionately.
The total number of deaths of children under 5 years of age dropped from 9.8 million in 2000 to 5.4 million in 2017. Half of those deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa, and another 30 per cent in Southern Asia. Yet, stark disparities persist across regions and countries.
What can I do to help?
You can start by promoting and protecting your own health and the health of those around you, by making well-informed choices, practicing safe sex and vaccinating your children.
You can raise awareness in your community about the importance of good health, healthy lifestyles as well as people’s right to quality health care services, especially for the most vulnerable such as women and children.
You can also hold your government, local leaders and other decision-makers accountable to their commitments to improve people’s access to health and health care.