WellByDefault – SDG3 Good Health and Well-being
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SDG3 Good Health and Well-being

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues.

By focusing on providing more efficient funding of health systems, improved sanitation and hygiene, increased access to physicians and more tips on ways to reduce ambient pollution, significant progress can be made in helping to save the lives of millions.


Reduce the global maternal mortality ratio, end preventable deaths of newborns, achieve universal health coverage and much more!

Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality, but working towards achieving the target of less than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030 would require improvements in skilled delivery care.

Achieving the target of reducing premature deaths due to incommunicable diseases by 1/3 by the year 2030 would also require more efficient technologies for clean fuel use during cooking and education on the risks of tobacco.

Despite great strides in improving people’s health and well-being, major efforts are still needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases, address persistent and emerging health issues, and achieve universal health coverage. An estimated 18 million additional health workers will be needed by 2030 to attain effective coverage of the broad range of health services necessary to ensure healthy lives for all.

  • More than six million children under age five die each year, the majority from sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. This coincides with the fact that death rates are higher amongst children of uneducated mothers and those born into poverty.
  • Children are most vulnerable within the first 28 days of life (the neonatal period). In 2015, roughly 2.7 million children died within the first month of life. Neonatal mortality remains highest in Central and Southern Asia and in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The maternal mortality ratio is 14 times higher in developing regions than in developed regions. In 2015, an estimated 303,000 women worldwide died due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
  • Globally, adolescent girls and young women face gender inequalities and violence, which put them at a higher risk of acquiring HIV, which is the leading cause of death for women of reproductive age.
  • AIDS is now the leading cause of death among adolescents in Africa and the second most common cause of death among adolescents globally.
  • In 2012, household air pollution led to an estimated 4.3 million deaths worldwide. Most parts of Asia and sub-Saharan Africa have the highest mortality rate owing to household pollution, with the highest exposure amongst women and children. Also in 2012, an estimated 3 million people died from ambient air pollution from traffic, industry, power generation, waste burning, and residential fuel combustion.
  • Major progress has been made in several areas, including increasing access to clean water and sanitation, increasing life expectancy, and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. There has also been a reduction in malaria, tuberculosis, polio, and the spread of HIV/AIDS.
  • Maternal mortality has fallen by almost 50% since 1990; measles vaccines have averted nearly 15.6 million deaths since 2000; over 6.2 million malaria deaths have been averted between 2000 and 2015; an estimated 37 million lives have been saved from tuberculosis between 2000 and 2013; and 13.6 million people had access to antiretroviral therapy by the end of 2014.

You can start by educating yourself and others about the importance of mental and physical health, safe sex, vaccinations, and access to quality healthcare. You can also take action through schools and organizations to hold your leaders accountable and promote better health for all, especially women and children.

  1. By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being
  2. Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol
  3. By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents
  4. By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes
  5. Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all
  6. By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination
  7. Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate
  8. Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and noncommunicable diseases that primarily affect developing countries, provide access to affordable essential medicines and vaccines, in accordance with the Doha Declaration on the TRIPS Agreement and Public Health, which affirms the right of developing countries to use to the full the provisions in the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights regarding flexibilities to protect public health, and, in particular, provide access to medicines for all
  9. Substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries and small island developing States
  10. Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks
  11. By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births
  12. By 2030, end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age, with all countries aiming to reduce neonatal mortality to at least as low as 12 per 1,000 live births and under-5 mortality to at least as low as 25 per 1,000 live births
  13. By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases
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•   As a member of society, your active engagement in policy-making ensures that your voice is heard, knowledge is shared, and that critical thinking is encouraged at all ages. Policymakers can help generate job opportunities and fiscal policies that stimulate pro-poor growth and reduce poverty.

•   As a member of the science and academic community, you can help discover sustainable solutions for the challenges of reducing poverty. Thanks to this community, there is now greater access to safe drinking water, reduced deaths caused by water-borne diseases, and improved hygiene to reduce health risks related to unsafe drinking water and lack of sanitation.


You can help create a community of people and participate in the decision-making and implementation processes. Educate yourself about the issues we face as a global family, connect with like-minded people and take action.

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