3. Good Health
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
Why It Matters
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. Major progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS. However, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues.
Facts & Figures
- 17,000 fewer children die each day than in 1990, but more than six million children still die before their fifth birthday each year
- Since 2000, measles vaccines have averted nearly 15.6 million deaths
- Despite determined global progress, an increasing proportion of child deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. Four out of every five deaths of children under age five occur in these regions.
- Children born into poverty are almost twice as likely to die before the age of five as those from wealthier families.
- Children of educated mothers—even mothers with only primary schooling—are more likely to survive than children of mothers with no education.
- Maternal mortality has fallen by almost 50 per cent since 1990
- But maternal mortality ratio – the proportion of mothers that do not survive childbirth compared to those who do – in developing regions is still 14 times higher than in the developed regions
- More women are receiving antenatal care. In developing regions, antenatal care increased from 65 per cent in 1990 to 83 per cent in 2012
- Only half of women in developing regions receive the recommended amount of health care they need
- Fewer teens are having children in most developing regions, but progress has slowed. The large increase in contraceptive use in the 1990s was not matched in the 2000s
- The need for family planning is slowly being met for more women, but demand is increasing at a rapid pace
HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
- AIDS is now the leading cause of death among adolescents (aged 10–19) in Africa and the second most common cause of death among adolescents globally
- In many settings, adolescent girls’ right to privacy and bodily autonomy is not respected, as many report that their first sexual experience was forced
- As of 2013, 2.1 million adolescents were living with HIV
- Over 6.2 million malaria deaths have been averted between 2000 and 2015, primarily of children under five years of age in sub-Saharan Africa. The global malaria incidence rate has fallen by an estimated 37 per cent and the mortality rates by 58 per cent
- Between 2000 and 2013, tuberculosis prevention, diagnosis and treatment interventions saved an estimated 37 million lives. The tuberculosis mortality rate fell by 45 per cent and the prevalence rate by 41 per cent between 1990 and 2013
• Reduce the number of mothers who die giving birth to their children.
• Prevent the deaths of newborns and children under five years old.
• End epidemics such as HIV/AIDS and other diseases, such as hepatitis or waterborne diseases.
• Educate people on prevention and abuse of drugs and alcohol as well as on mental health issues.
• Provide information about family planning, sex education and reproductive health.
• Ensure that everyone enjoys the right to health, which includes high quality medical care, and accessible and economical medicines and vaccines.
• Halve global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents.
• Substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water, and soil pollution and contamination.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly. The World Health Organisation recommends taking 10,000 steps every day.
- Avoid habits that increase your risk of illnesses, like smoking and excessive drinking.
- Vaccinate yourself and your kids. Protecting your family from disease also aids public health.
- Stay informed about how to prevent diseases.
- Raise awareness in your community about the importance of good health, healthy lifestyles as well as people’s right to quality health care services. Take action through schools, and organisations to promote better health for all, especially for the most vulnerable such as women and children.
- Hold the government, local leaders and other decision-makers accountable to their commitments to improve people’s access to health and health care.