In 2015 the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) come to the end of their term, and a post-2015 agenda, comprising 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), takes their place.
My Department published a report in December 2015 assessing the achievement of the MDG health targets over the period 1990-2015, key factors influencing successes and failures and also assessing the main challenges that will affect health in the coming 15 years
Progress towards the MDGs, on the whole, has been remarkable, including, for instance, poverty reduction, education improvements and increased access to safe drinking water. Progress on the three health goals and targets has also been considerable. Globally, the HIV, tuberculosis (TB) and malaria epidemics were “turned around”, child mortality and maternal mortality decreased greatly (53% and 44%, respectively, since 1990) despite falling short of the MDG targets (see Figure below, which shows % declines for the main MDG health indicators at regional and global levels). Regional progress has been uneven, as can be seen in Table 1.1, and substantial inequalities remain within and across countries.
During the MDG era, many global progress records were set. The MDGs have gone a long way to changing the way we think and talk about the world, shaping the international discourse and debate on development, and also contributed to major increases in development assistance. However, several limitations of the MDGs have also become apparent, including a limited focus resulting in verticalization of health and disease programmes in countries, a lack of attention to strengthening health systems, the emphasis on a “one-size-fits-all” development planning approach, and a focus on aggregate targets rather than equity.
The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the year 2030 are broader and more ambitious than the MDGs. SDG3 specifically sets out to “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” Its 13 targets build on progress made on the MDGs and reflect a new focus on noncommunicable diseases and the achievement of universal health coverage.
The report includes “Snapshots” on 34 different health topics outline trends, achievements made, reasons for success, challenges and strategic priorities for improving health in the different areas. These “snapshots” range from air pollution to hepatitis to road traffic injuries, and can be viewed/downloaded individually below.