Goal 3: Good health and well-being
We have made huge strides in reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Since 1990, there has been an over 50 percent decline in preventable child deaths globally. Maternal mortality also fell by 45 percent worldwide. Between 2000 and 2013, over 6.2 million lives were saved from malaria and new HIV/AIDS infections fell by 30 percent.
Despite this incredible progress, more than 6 million children still die before their fifth birthday every year. 16,000 children die each day from preventable diseases such as measles and tuberculosis. Every day hundreds of women die during pregnancy or from child-birth related complications. In many rural areas, only 56 percent of births are attended by skilled professionals. AIDS is now the leading cause of death among teenagers in sub-Saharan Africa, a region still severely devastated by the HIV epidemic. These deaths can be avoided through prevention and treatment, education, immunization campaigns, and sexual and reproductive healthcare.
Average life expectancy in the Arab region increased from 58.5 years in 1980 to 70.6 years in 2015. In addition, child mortality in the Arab region has significantly decreased from an average of 131 per 1000 live births in 1980 to 36.8 per 1000 in 2015, due in part, to the progress that many Arab countries have made in increasing access to improved sanitation facilities from 66 percent in 1990 to 90 percent by 2015.
The Sustainable Development Goals make a bold commitment to end the epidemics of tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS and other communicable diseases by 2030. The aim is to achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and affordable medicines and vaccines for all. Supporting research and development for vaccines is an essential part of this process as well.
Significant advances have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers in Lebanon, and in improving access to quality health services. There is, however, still work to be done to improve the population’s health and ensure affordable health care for all.
Did you know that over the past 12 years, the number of women who died giving birth was reduced from 84 to 16 out of 100,000? …that 51.7% of Lebanese are not covered by any form of health insurance? …that 23% of Syrian refugees could not obtain needed hospital care due to costs last year? …that about one third of all Palestine refugees in Lebanon have a chronic condition?