World lags badly on targets to slash TB, HIV, obesity: study

September 13, 2017
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Not a single country, out of nearly 200 reviewed, was on track to meet the UN target of eliminating new tuberculosis infections by 2030, according to a global health review published Wednesday.

At the same time, less than five percent of were likely to reach the UN goal of reducing suicides, road deaths and child obesity by that date, and only seven percent would likely eliminate new HIV infections.

Overall, only a fifth of 37 health-related targets set under the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted in 2015, are likely to be met, said the review carried by The Lancet medical journal.

"A number of targets remained out of reach for most countries," the authors wrote.

Under the review, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, more than 2,500 researchers from around the world scored the health progress of 188 countries, and projected their trajectory to 2030.

The projections "underscore the need for dramatic, if not unprecedented, acceleration of progress to improve health outcomes, reduce risk exposure, and expand essential health services for all countries," the authors said.

They team found "considerable inequality" between projections for rich and .

High-income countries were forecast to meet 38 percent of the UN's health-related targets, compared to three percent for low-income states.

They also were not dealing with the same problems.

Poor countries fared poorly on maternal mortality, child stunting, malaria and environmental risks that affected rich nations less.

But when it comes to lifestyle problems, many , including the United States, fared poorly on measures for suicide, alcohol abuse and homicide.

China improving, US not

Looking to the future, the review said efforts to eradicate malaria and reduce deaths of infants and pregnant women were among the most promising, with more than 60 percent of countries projected to meet UN goals for all three.

"On the basis of current trends, Kazakhstan, Timor-Leste, Angola, Nigeria and Swaziland were projected to have the largest overall improvements," the team said in a statement.

This was driven by cuts in child mortality and better access to health care, family planning and birth assistance.

Countries expected to lose ground—considering trends for and alcohol abuse—included Sri Lanka, Venezuela, Serbia and Ukraine.

The report named China and Cambodia among middle- and low-income countries deserving of "recognition for improving their citizens' lives".

The same countries—along with Rwanda, Equatorial Guinea, Laos and Turkey—recorded the biggest improvements in universal health care between 2000 and 2016, which translated into better vaccine coverage, as well as fewer child deaths and malaria infections.

The United States, on the other hand, joined Lesotho and the Central African Republic among countries showing "minimal improvement" in universal health care, said the team.

This is a controversial topic in the United States, where Donald Trump's administration is seeking to undo Barack Obama's expansion of coverage.

Singapore, Iceland and Sweden were the best-performing countries in terms of -related Sustainable Development Goals, according to the review.

Somalia, the Central African Republic and Afghanistan ranked lowest.

The United States was rated 24th overall with poor marks for suicide, child sex abuse, alcohol abuse and homicide, wile China ranked 74th with low scores for air pollution, road injuries, poisoning, and smoking.

India was at number 127 with poor performance on air pollution, sanitation and acute childhood malnutrition.

The review was published ahead of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly opening in New York Tuesday.

Explore further: Mixed report for global health progress

Related Stories

Mixed report for global health progress

September 21, 2016
The world has made progress in curbing infant mortality, stunted growth and other poverty-driven problems, while obesity, alcohol abuse and partner violence has risen, a major review of UN health goals said Wednesday.

Bulk of world's child deaths in just 10 countries: study

November 10, 2016
Sixty percent of the 5.9 million children under five who died last year were in just 10 countries in Africa and Asia, an evaluation of global infant health revealed Friday.

U.S. leads in income-based health care inequalities

June 9, 2017
(HealthDay)—The United States has larger income-related differences in perceptions of health and health care than other middle- and high-income countries, according to a report published in the June issue of Health Affairs.

Best-case scenario suggests that just one in five countdown countries can meet targets for cutting child mortality

September 19, 2013
A comprehensive new analysis of interventions to reduce maternal and child deaths in developing countries, published in The Lancet, reveals that if current trends continue, just nine Countdown countries will meet internationally ...

Millions of maternal and child lives could be saved every year for less than $5 a person

April 10, 2016
By spending less than $5 per person on essential health care services such as contraception, medication for serious illnesses and nutritional supplements, millions of maternal and child lives could be saved every year, according ...

Recommended for you

Hormone therapy in the menopause transition did not increase stroke risk

November 24, 2017
Postmenopausal hormone therapy is not associated with increased risk of stroke, provided that it is started early, according to a report from Karolinska Institutet published in the journal PLOS Medicine.

When traveling on public transport, you may want to cover your ears

November 22, 2017
The noise levels commuters are exposed to while using public transport or while biking, could induce hearing loss if experienced repeatedly and over long periods of time, according to a study published in the open access ...

Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses

November 22, 2017
Different types of alcohol elicit different emotional responses, but spirits are most frequently associated with feelings of aggression, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Air pollution linked to poorer quality sperm

November 22, 2017
Air pollution, particularly levels of fine particulate matter (PM2.5), is associated with poorer quality sperm, suggests research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Sunrise and sunset guide daily activities of city-dwellers

November 21, 2017
Despite artificial lightning and social conventions, the dynamics of daylight still influence the daily activities of people living in modern, urban environments, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

Older men need more protein to maintain muscles

November 21, 2017
The amount of protein recommended by international guidelines is not sufficient to maintain muscle size and strength in older men, according to a new study.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.