Every day, children around the world die from preventable diseases. However, thanks to simple but key interventions such as vaccines, clean water and proper sanitation, global health priorities have made dramatic gains in recent years. Today, vaccines currently help save 2.5 million children from preventable diseases every year and more than 7 million bed nets have been provided to protect families in Sub-Saharan Africa from malaria. The world is now nearly polio-free, measles deaths have decreased by 78 percent and clean water wells are being installed around the developing world.
Successes like these are the result of the coordinated efforts of individual donors, activist groups, NGOs, governments, and a particularly significant contribution from the United Nations and its partners.
Great challenges remain for global health: some top priorities include averting deaths due to preventable causes, ensuring the use of cleaner cookstoves, and improving the health of women and girls. With continued collaboration, the global health community can continue to move forward to a healthier future for all.
How the UN is creating solutions
Global health issues are not constrained to national borders, and neither is the UN. The UN’s focus on cross-national dialogue and collaboration uniquely positions it to effectively address the global health issues that no single country can tackle alone. To improve health worldwide, three Sustainable Development Goals have been created: no poverty, good health and well-being and clean water and sanitation.
No poverty (goal 1) focuses on eradicating extreme poverty for all people everywhere and ensuring that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, and basic services.
Good health and well-being (goal 3) focuses on ending preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age and ending the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases.
Clean water and sanitation (goal 6) focuses on improving water quality, protecting and restoreing water-related ecosystems and strengthening the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management.