Uphill Battle To Provide Good Healthcare Worldwide

SDG goal 3

Access to basic healthcare is a given for many people around the world. But 400 million people in less developed countries lack access to basic healthcare and social safety nets.

What’s more,  about 39 million people are battling HIV, and 15 million of them are not receiving any treatment. Achieving Goal 3 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals will require much more progress over the next decade.

“The world is off-track to achieve the health-related SDGs,” notes a UN update on SDG 3.  “Progress has been uneven, both between and within countries … And while some countries have made impressive gains, national averages hide that many are being left behind.”

The UN report advocates for increased multisectoral, rights-based and gender-sensitive approaches for achieving the goal of providing better healthcare worldwide. “Good health is essential to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda reflects the complexity and interconnectedness of the two,” the report notes.

Solutions in the coming decade need to address economic and social inequalities, rapidly increasing urbanization, climate change, and the ongoing battle against infectious diseases.

“Universal health coverage will be integral to achieving SDG 3, ending poverty and reducing inequalities,” says the UN report.  

Businesses and industry groups can make a difference. For example, companies in the biopharmaceutical industry are mobilizing resources to help improve healthcare worldwide. The industry has helped create Global Health Progress, an online knowledge hub highlighting 200-plus collaborations between the biopharmaceutical industry and 850 partners in support of the SDGs.

The private sector and industry groups in every sector will have to step-up in the coming decade to help the United Nations achieve its goal of improved healthcare worldwide by 2030.

A framework for action has already been created by the UN. In September 2019, 12 multilateral agencies launched a joint plan to to accelerate progress towards the health-related SDGs over the next decade. The “Stronger Collaboration, Better Health: Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All” outlines how health, development and humanitarian agencies will collaborate to be more efficient and provide more streamlined support to countries to deliver universal health coverage and achieve the health-related SDG targets.

“The plan is called, ‘Stronger Collaboration, Better Health’ for a reason,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of World Health Organization.  “Although collaboration is the path, impact is the destination.  The release of this plan is the beginning, not the end, of that path.”

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