Sustainable development goals may face a setback caused by COVID-19 pandemic
Sustainable development goals may be going to face setback due to Coronavirus pandemic. WHO has warned in its 2020 World Health Statistics Report.
Geneva: The World Health Organization has warned that the COVID-19 pandemic could be a setback to the progress made towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The warning has come in WHO’s World Health Statistics Report 2020.
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Cheif of the Organization has acknowledged in the report that significant progress has been made in the field of health. However, the rate of progress is slower than what was desirable. He said, “The good news is that people around the world are living longer and healthier lives. The bad news is the rate of progress is too slow to meet the Sustainable Development Goals and will be further thrown off track by COVID-19.”
WHO’s Assistant Director-General Samira Asma in her remarks stressed on the urgent need for developing primary health care facilities in the developing world “The message from this report is clear: as the world battles the most serious pandemic in 100 years, just a decade away from the SDG deadline, we must act together to strengthen primary health care and focus on the most vulnerable among us in order to eliminate the gross inequalities,” WHO’s Assistant Director-General Samira Asma said.
Lack of immunisation has been mentioned as a major area of concern by the WHO. This has been flagged not only in this year’s report but repeatedly over the years. The report says that the previous gains made against some diseases e.g. malaria could be reversed due to inadequate immunisation programmes. The report also says that a shortfall of medical services has made difficult the prevention and treatment of noncommunicable diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, heart and lung diseases and stroke.
As per WHO estimates these diseases together accounted for 70 percent of all global deaths in 2016. 85 percent of these deaths occur in the countries of low and middle-level income.
Dr Tedros emphasized on sufficient investments on healthcare systems as the best defence against the COVID-19 pandemic. “The pandemic highlights the urgent need for all countries to invest in strong health systems and primary health care, as the best defence against outbreaks like COVID-19. Health systems and health security are two sides of the same coin”, he added.
The 2020 World Health Statistics estimates that almost a billion people across the world will be spending at least 10 percent of their budgets on health this year. The people especially include those belonging to the countries of lower and middle level of income.