• SDGs
  • MDGs make way for SDGs this year

    This year, after 15 years, the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG) reach the end of their life. The top priority for the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) is eradicating poverty. Better health is goal 3 of the 17 SDGs. It’s described as “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” The components are:

    Reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live birthsEnd preventable deaths of new born children and under fivesEnd the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseasesReduce by a third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well beingStrengthen prevention and treatment of substance abuseHalve global deaths and injuries from road traffi­c accidentsEnsure universal access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, including family planning, information and education, and integrating reproductive health into national strategies and programmesAchieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential healthcare and safe, elective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for allSubstantially reduce deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contaminationStrengthen WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco ControlSupport research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable diseasesSubstantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retaining health workersStrengthen the capacity for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks.

    These are wide-ranging. As a strategic framework for African countries’ eHealth plans, they reveal a need for an equivalent wide-ranging and integrated investment, and avoiding a set of independent initiatives. This requires moves towards interoperability, analytics and a socio-technical architecture that extends from healthcare to people and communities. Each of these needs an expansion to current endeavours and a sustainable investment.