We have made great progress towards the reduction of infectious diseases and preventable deaths in recent decades. Indeed, life expectancy has increased dramatically, infant and maternal mortality rates have declined, while HIV and malaria related deaths have almost halved.
Good health is essential to achieving sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda reflects the complex and interconnected nature of health and sustainable development by taking into account issues of widening economic and social inequality, rapid urbanization, threats to the climate and environment, and the continuing burden of HIV and other infectious diseases.
However, the world is currently not on track to achieve the health-related SDGs. Progress so far has been unevenly distributed, both within and between countries. Currently, there is a 31-year gap between countries with the shortest and longest life expectancies. Though certain countries have made impressive gains, national averages hide the reality that many are being left behind.
Moreover, the achievement of universal health care will be essential in ending poverty, reducing inequalities and realizing the objectives of SDG 3.