We live in a world where more than six million children die before their fifth birthday each year and where children of educated mothers, including those with only Primary education are more likely to survive than children of mothers with no education. In the same vein, only half of women in developing regions receive the recommended amount of health care they need and where Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age worldwide.
It is in the light of the above that the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3: ‘Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages’ targets that by 2030,there will be a reduction in the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births; an end to preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births; and by 2030, achieve an end to the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.
Imagine a world free of diseases and sick persons, and with reduced mortality cases! it is only possible with the participation of everyone in achieving these goals. If everyone works towards the goal and its targets, by 2020, the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents would have been halved; while ensuring universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes. Also, concerted efforts of everyone on SDG 3 will also lead to the achievement of universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.
‘Leave no one behind’ is the rallying call of the SDGs. Let us operationalise it. Let this be the guiding principle of the government in the implementation of the SDG 3 and in fact, all the 17 SDGs and the 169 targets. Everyone has a role to play in achieving the goals, the Government, Private Sector, Civil Society, Community Group and Individuals, we all are involved in the drive to achieving a sustainable solution to the health challenges.
Let’s join hands to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all. Written by Oluwatosin Adebayo (An intern)