Home News International World lagging badly on most health-related targets, says UN

World lagging badly on most health-related targets, says UN

PARIS

Not a single country, out of nearly 200 reviewed, was on track to meet the UN target of eliminating new tuberculosis infections by 2030, according to a global health review published on Wednesday.

At the same time, less than five per cent of countries were likely to reach the UN goal of reducing suicides, road deaths and child obesity by that date, and only seven per cent would likely eliminate new HIV infections.

Overall, only a fifth of 37 health-related targets set under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015, are likely to be met, said the review carried by The Lancet medical journal.

“A number of targets remained out of reach for most countries,” the authors wrote.

Under the review, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, more than 2,500 researchers from around the world scored the health progress of 188 countries, and projected their trajectory to 2030.

The projections “underscore the need for dramatic, if not unprecedented, acceleration of progress to improve health outcomes, reduce risk exposure, and expand essential health services for all countries,” the authors said.

The team found “considerable inequality” between projections for rich and poor countries.

High-income countries were forecast to meet 38 per cent of the UN’s health-related targets, compared to three per cent for low-income states. They also were not dealing with the same problems.

Poor countries fared poorly on maternal mortality, child stunting, malaria and environmental risks that affected rich nations less.

But when it comes to lifestyle problems, many high-income countries, including the United States, fared poorly on measures for suicide, alcohol abuse and homicide.

Looking to the future, the review said efforts to eradicate malaria and reduce deaths of infants and pregnant women were among the most promising, with more than 60 per cent of countries projected to meet UN goals for all three.

“On the basis of current trends, Kazakhstan, Timor-Leste, Angola, Nigeria and Swaziland were projected to have the largest overall improvements,” the team said in a statement.

Agence France-Presse