Measuring the health-related sustainable development goals in 188 countries: a baseline analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015
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In 2015, the median health-related SDG index was 59.3 and varied widely by country, ranging from 85.5 in Iceland to 20.4 in Central African Republic. SDI was a good predictor of the health-related SDG index and the MDG index, whereas the non-MDG index had a weaker relation with SDI. Between 2000 and 2015, the health-related SDG index improved by a median of 7.9 and gains on the MDG index exceeded that of the non MDG index (a median change of 5.5. Since 2000, pronounced progress occurred for indicators such as met need with modern contraception, under-5 mortality, and neonatal mortality, as well as the indicator for universal health coverage tracer interventions. Moderate improvements were found for indicators such as HIV and tuberculosis incidence, minimal changes for hepatitis B incidence took place, and childhood overweight considerably worsened. GBD provides an independent, comparable avenue for monitoring progress towards the health-related SDGs. Our analysis not only highlights the importance of income, education, and fertility as drivers of health improvement but also emphasises that investments in these areas alone will not be sufficient. Although considerable progress on the health-related MDG indicators has been made, these gains will need to be sustained and, in many cases, accelerated to achieve the ambitious SDG targets. The minimal improvement in or worsening of health-related indicators beyond the MDGs highlight the need for additional resources to effectively address the expanded scope of the health-related SDGs.