Goal 3: Ensure health and well-being for all at all ages

Goal 3: Ensure health and well-being for all at all ages

To achieve sustainable development it is essential to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages. Great progress has been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the most common causes of death related to infant and maternal mortality. Significant progress has been made in accessing clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS. Despite this, many more efforts are needed to completely eradicate a wide variety of diseases and address many different health issues, whether recent or persistent.

Facts and figures

1. Child health

  • Every day 17,000 fewer children die than in 1990; however, more than six million children continue to die before their fifth birthday each year
  • Since 2000, measles vaccines have prevented nearly 15.6 million deaths.
  • Despite marked progress globally, an increasing proportion of child deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Four out of five infant deaths occur in these regions
  • Children born into poverty are almost twice as likely to die before the age of five than children born into the wealthiest families
  • Children of educated mothers – even those who have completed only primary school – are more likely to survive than children of mothers with no education.

2. Maternal health

  • Maternal mortality has decreased by nearly 50% since 1990
  • In East Asia, North Africa and South Asia, maternal mortality decreased by about two-thirds
  • However, the maternal mortality rate – i.e. the proportion of mothers who do not survive childbirth compared to mothers who do survive – in developing regions is still 14 times higher today than the maternal mortality rate in developed regions
  • More women are receiving antenatal care. In developing areas, antenatal care increased from 65% in 1990 to 83% in 2012
  • Only half of women living in developing areas get the recommended amount of medical care they need
  • Fewer teenagers are having children in most developing regions, but progress has slowed. The large increase in the use of contraceptive methods that characterized the 1990s has not been replicated in the first decade of the 2000s
  • Slowly, the demand for family planning is being met for an increasing number of women, but the demand is growing rapidly.

3. HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

  • At the end of 2014, 13.6 million people had access to antiretroviral therapy
  • 2.1 million new HIV infections exploded in 2013, 38% less than in 2001
  • At the end of 2013, 35 million people were living with the HIV virus
  • In the same year, 240,000 children were infected with the HIV virus
  • New HIV infections among children have decreased by 58% since 2001
  • Globally, adolescents and young women are victims of gender-based inequality, exclusion, discrimination and violence, putting them at an increased risk of contracting HIV
  • HIV is the leading cause of death among women of reproductive age worldwide
  • Deaths from TB among people living with the HIV virus have decreased by 36% since 2004
  • There were 250,000 new HIV infections among adolescents in 2013, two-thirds of which affected girls
  • AIDS is now the leading cause of death among adolescents (ages 10 to 19) in Africa and the second most common cause of adolescent death globally
  • In many places, the right of adolescents to privacy and autonomy of their bodies is not respected; many report that their first sexual experience was forced
  • In 2013, 2.1 million adolescents were living with the HIV virus
  • Between 2000 and 2015, more than 6.2 million malaria deaths were prevented, mainly in children under the age of 5 in sub-Saharan Africa. Overall malaria incidence rate decreased by 37% and death rate by 58%
  • Between 2000 and 2013, interventions to prevent, diagnose and treat tuberculosis saved 37 million lives. The TB mortality rate decreased by 45% and the prevalence rate by 41% between 1990 and 2013.


3.1 By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality rate to less than 70 for every 100,000 live births

3.2 By 2030, end predictable deaths of infants and children under 5 years of age. All countries should seek to reduce neonatal mortality to at least 12 per 1,000 live births and under-five mortality to at least 25 per 1,000 live births

3.3 By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases; fight hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases

3.4 By 2030, reduce premature mortality from noncommunicable diseases by one-third through prevention and treatment and promote well-being and mental health

3.5 Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including drug abuse and the harmful use of alcohol

3.6 By 2020, halve the global number of fatalities and injuries from road traffic accidents

3.7 By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care services, including family planning, information, education, and mainstreaming reproductive health into national strategies and programs

3.8 Achieve universal health coverage, including protection from financial risks, access to essential quality health care services, and safe, effective, quality and affordable access to basic medicines and vaccines for all

3.9 By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and from contamination and pollution of air, water and soil

3.a Strengthen implementation of the Regulatory Framework of the World Health Organization Convention on Tobacco Control as appropriate in all countries

3.b Support research and development of vaccines and medicines for communicable and non-communicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries; provide access to essential and affordable medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on TRIPS and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to make full use of the provisions of the Trade-Related Aspects of Rights Agreement of Intellectual Property containing so-called "flexibilities" to protect public health and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all

3.c Substantially increase funding for health and the selection, training, development and retention of health personnel in developing countries, especially in least developed and small island developing States

3.d Strengthen the capacity of all countries, especially developing countries, to anticipate, reduce and manage health-related risks, both nationally and globally