The Path to Achieving Health SDGs

The Path to Achieving Health SDGs

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently published a report estimating the amount of investment required to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for health within an ambitious framework. According to the report, low and middle-income countries would need to part with an additional $134 billion, which would need to reach $371 billion per year by 2030 in order to achieve these goals. The WHO plan would introduce 23.6 million more health workers and create 415,000 health facilities, with an emphasis placed on primary care, to provide for the respective populations of countries implementing the health SDG initiative.

While 32 of the world’s lowest-income countries will require external assistance to close an annual gap comprising of almost $54 billion, the WHO’s Economic Analysis and Evaluation team projects that 85% of the costs for health development can be “met with domestic resources”. This means that if governments were to reprioritise their spending, most goals could be attainable. 

In July 2017, the Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the WHO, delivered a speech at the G20 Summit which clearly communicated the ties between achieving global health goals and attaining national objectives. Dr Tedros commented that, in terms of economic and security interests, the international community would benefit by financing universal health coverage in line with SDGs and by investing resources into research and development in the sector. However, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has stated that “the rate of progress in many areas is far slower than needed to meet targets by 2030” in a recent report on SDGs published by the UN. This could be because the “price tag” placed on achieving overall SDGs within this timeframe amounts to an estimated $3 trillion per year. 

The WHO detects around 3,000 signals of new outbreaks every month alerting the organisation to possible health dangers around the world. In Yemen, there were over 362,000 suspected cases of cholera as of July this year, which represents the world's largest outbreak of the disease. Last month the WHO was monitoring a total of 42 public health emergencies on the African continent, two of which were new. 

"Universal health coverage and health security are the two sides of the same coin. This year, 400 million people, that is 1 out of 17, mostly poor people, women and children, around the world remain without access to health care. Strong health systems will not only be our best defence but will also be critical for attaining the SDGs" - Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, WHO

To discuss health resilience as well as technology to support health SDGs, the Aid and International Development Forum will hold the Global Disaster Relief & Development Summit on September 6-7 in Washington D.C. Expert speakers, including keynote Dr Stephen Redd, Director for the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), will explore latest trends and innovations in global health initiatives and their practical implications for improving community health. 

Kristen Finne, Programme Manager, emPOWER Initiative, Senior Policy Analyst, Division of Healthcare System Policy, US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Dr. Ciro R. Ugarte, Director, Health Emergencies, WHOPan American Health Organization (PAHO) will discuss key stages for collaborative global health through the use of mobile solutions and how to coordinate support and health-promoting activities. Other speakers at the Global Disaster Relief & Development Summit include:

  • Ticia Gerber, Founder, and CEO, Integrative Center for eHealth (ICE), Consultant, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, WHO
  • Michael O'Brien, Global Director, Health, and Nutrition, Relief International
  • Alfonso Rosales, Senior Advisor, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, World Vision USA
  • Ugochi Daniels, Chief of Humanitarian Response, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
  • Steve Hansch, Director, International Business & Technical Consultants, Director, Ebola Response Evaluation, USAID/OFDA, Treasurer, Board  Member, Relief International
  • Dr Jordan Tappero, Senior Advisor, Center for Global Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • Francesco Moschetta, Coe Senior Lead, Portfolio Manager, Africa and the Middle East, Western Africa, The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
  • Lena Wahlhed, Director, Alliance Development, HemoCue

See the full list of confirmed speakers here and Summit agenda here

More about the Global Disaster Relief & Development Summit at

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