Intended for healthcare professionals


Covid-19 pandemic has derailed progress on sustainable development goals, says WHO

BMJ 2020; 369 doi: (Published 14 May 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;369:m1969

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  1. Jacqui Thornton
  1. London

The rate of progress towards the United Nations’ sustainable development goals is too slow and is being further “thrown off track” by the covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization has said.

The warning came from Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO director general, as the agency published the 2020 edition of its annual World Health Statistics,1 reporting progress against a series of key health and service indicators.

In 2015 the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes 17 goals with 169 targets.2 With only a decade to the deadline, the latest report shows that life expectancy and healthy life expectancy have increased, but unequally.

The biggest gains were reported in low income countries, which saw life expectancy rise by 21% (11 years) between 2000 and 2016, compared with an increase of 4% (3 …

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