Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-Being for All at All Ages
WHAT IS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 3: HEALTH AND WELL-BEING?
SDG 3 aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, thereby ensuring sustainable development. Its targets include reducing the global maternal mortality ratio and ending preventable deaths of infants and children under five. It aims to end epidemics and communicable and non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment.
WHY IS HEALTH AND WELL-BEING SO IMPORTANT?
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being of all the world's people is essential for prosperous societies. Access to health and well-being is a human right. However, inequalities in access to healthcare persist and millions of people die each year because they do not receive the care they need.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shaken the great strides that have been made in improving the health of millions of people around the world. It has been an unprecedented milestone in health emergency preparedness and public service investment. Disease is causing significant loss of life and overwhelming many health systems. Essential health services and life-saving interventions are being disrupted. Many people have stopped going to health centers for fear of catching COVID-19, delaying vaccinations or check-ups and even urgent care.
So far, progress had been significant, but much remained to be done. According to the SDG Progress Report (2021), the newborn mortality rate fell by 38% between 2000 and 2017, from 342 deaths to 211 per 100,000 live births worldwide. During the same period, the global maternal mortality ratio declined by 2.9% each year. Every day in 2017, approximately 810 women died from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. All of them preventable. Globally, 86% of these deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Enormous progress has also been made in reducing child mortality in recent decades. The global under-five mortality rate fell from 76 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2000 to 42 in 2015, and to 39 in 2018. In the case of the global neonatal mortality rate, it declined from 31 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2000 to 18 deaths in 2018. Despite this, some 5.3 million children died before their fifth birthday in 2018 alone. Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest rate: one in 13 children died before their fifth birthday - in 2018.
To reduce the number of premature deaths, progress is needed in access to clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), helping to reduce deadly and infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis, and slowing the spread of HIV. Quality and affordable health care, improved nutrition and increased availability of vaccines will also be key to curbing both child and maternal mortality.
Against this backdrop, reducing child and maternal mortality and ending epidemics has become SDG 3 of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in September 2015 at the Sustainable Development Summit, where more than 150 heads of state and government adopted the so-called 2030 Agenda.
SDG-1 (No Poverty), SDG-2 (Zero Hunger) and SDG-3 (Good Health and Wellbeing):
Basic needs are compromised by hunger, poverty, and poor health while they form a circle. Poverty ends in malnutrition and hunger, lack of quality food triggers poor health, and poor health decreases functionality. Those who are not productive cannot make ends meet.
People, societies, and countries living in poverty struggle with the fundamentals of life and never develop. Lacking proper education, they lack the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed for higher paying jobs. And they are a burden rather than a help to their societies. Many talented people around the world never fulfill their potential because of financial, food, or health issues. If this is not a loss for corporations (as employers), then whose is it? These people could be both the businesses’ helpful employees and their potential customers. As an example, during the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses went bankrupt, and many people lost their jobs, their health, or family members. Companies can help resolve this crisis, so that everyone return to how they used to function and corporations can continue to operate as usual.