A global study on a range of health-related sustainable development goal (SDG) indicators released Wednesday has ranked Sri Lanka 79th among 188 countries.
The first global analysis which assesses countries on sustainable development goal (SDG) health performance was launched at a special event at the UN General Assembly on Wednesday and published online in The Lancet.
The UN General Assembly established the SDGs in September 2015, to replace the millennium development goal (MDG) framework that expired last year. The SDGs specify 17 universal goals, 169 targets and 230 indicators leading up to 2030.
The current study marks the first annual assessment of SDG health performance and the authors of the latest assessment of progress have compared 33 health-related SDG indicators across 188 countries.
The study by an international collaboration on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) analysed each country’s progress towards achieving health-related SDG targets by creating an overall SDG Index score. Countries were then ranked by their scores to show which nations are closest to achieving the targets. The authors created an SDG index, ranked from 0-100 to help make comparisons easier among the countries.
Sri Lanka, which has eliminated malaria, scored 100 on that health indicator as well as skilled birth attendance and absence of war. However, the country fared poorly scoring 23 for the suicide indicator.
Among the South Asian countries Maldives placed highest at 65th while Nepal was the lowest ranking 158th in the index. Bhutan ranked 114th, India 143rd, Pakistan 149th and Bangladesh ranked 151st.
Iceland, Singapore and Sweden fared best in the health-related SDG index, with the United Kingdom picking up fifth place. The lowest scorers were the Central African Republic, Somalia, and South Sudan.
The United States ranked 28th in the world; this surprisingly poor performance was predominantly due to HIV, interpersonal violence, childhood overweight, suicide and harmful alcohol consumption.
Compared with other high-income countries, the US also fared poorly in areas such as maternal, child, and neonatal mortality; this is thought to be due to the disparity in access and quality of healthcare across the population. (Colombopage)