United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Targets and Indicators



By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births


Maternal mortality ratio


Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel



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


Under-five mortality rate


Neonatal mortality rate



By 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases


Number of new HIV infections per 1,000 uninfected population, by sex, age and key populations


Tuberculosis incidence per 1,000 population


Malaria incidence per 1,000 population


Hepatitis B incidence per 100,000 population


Number of people requiring interventions against neglected tropical diseases



By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being


Mortality rate attributed to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease


Suicide mortality rate



Strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, including narcotic drug abuse and harmful use of alcohol


Coverage of treatment interventions (pharmacological, psychosocial and rehabilitation and aftercare services) for substance use disorders


Harmful use of alcohol, defined according to the national context as alcohol per capita consumption (aged 15 years and older) within a calendar year in litres of pure alcohol



By 2020, halve the number of global deaths and injuries from road traffic accidents


Death rate due to road traffic injuries



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


Proportion of women of reproductive age (aged 15-49 years) who have their need for family planning satisfied with modern methods


Adolescent birth rate (aged 10-14 years; aged 15-19 years) per 1,000 women in that age group



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


Coverage of essential health services (defined as the average coverage of essential services based on tracer interventions that include reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and service capacity and access, among the general and the most disadvantaged population)


Proportion of population with large household expenditures on health as a share of total household expenditure or income



By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination


Mortality rate attributed to household and ambient air pollution


Mortality rate attributed to unsafe water, unsafe sanitation and lack of hygiene (exposure to unsafe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for All (WASH) services)


Mortality rate attributed to unintentional poisoning



Strengthen the implementation of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control in all countries, as appropriate


Age-standardized prevalence of current tobacco use among persons aged 15 years and older



Support the research and development of vaccines and medicines for the communicable and non-communicable 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


Proportion of the target population covered by all vaccines included in their national programme


Total net official development assistance to medical research and basic health sectors


Proportion of health facilities that have a core set of relevant essential medicines available and affordable on a sustainable basis



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


Health worker density and distribution



Strengthen the capacity of all countries, in particular developing countries, for early warning, risk reduction and management of national and global health risks


International Health Regulations (IHR) capacity and health emergency preparedness


Percentage of bloodstream infections due to selected antimicrobial-resistant organisms

Progress and Info

As of April 2022, COVID-19 had infected more than 500 million people and killed more than 6.2 million worldwide. However, the latest estimates suggest the global “excess deaths” directly and indirectly attributable to COVID-19 could be as high as three times this number. The pandemic has severely disrupted essential health services, shortened life expectancy, and exacerbated inequities between countries and people in access to basic health services, threatening to undo years of progress in some health areas. Furthermore, immunization coverage dropped for the first time in ten years, and deaths from tuberculosis and malaria increased. 

Reproductive, maternal and child health

Based on data from 2015-2021, 84% of births worldwide were assisted by skilled health professionals, including medical doctors, nurses and midwives, an increase from 77% in 2008-2014. In sub-Saharan Africa, coverage is 20 percentage points lower. Available data does not reflect the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the disruption of services, which may reverse gains made over the past decades. 

The global under-5 mortality rate fell by 14% from 43 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2015 to 37 deaths in 2020, while the global neonatal mortality rate fell to 17 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2020 from 19 deaths in 2015, a 12% reduction. Even with that progress, 5 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday in 2020 alone—down from 5.9 million in 2015. Almost half of those deaths, 2.4 million, occurred in the first month of life. 

The proportion of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) who have their need for family planning satisfied with modern contraceptive methods had stagnated around 77% between 2015 and 2022. However, sub-Sharan Africa has seen the largest increase, by almost 5 percentage points. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may lead to a reversal of this trend because of supply-chain disruptions and decreased access to family planning services.

The adolescent birth rate has fallen worldwide from 56 births per 1,000 adolescents aged 15-19 years in 2000 to 45 in 2015 and 41 in 2020. The largest declines are occurring in Central and Southern Asia, from 70 births per 1,000 adolescent women in 2000 to 24 in 2020. Early adolescent childbearing, that occurs in the 10–14-year age group, is much more common in countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean than in other parts of the world.

Infectious diseases

An estimated 1.5 million new HIV infections and 680,000 deaths from AIDS-related causes occurred in 2020. The incidence of HIV infections globally declined by 39% between 2010 and 2020, far less than the 75% target agreed by the UN General Assembly in 2016. Measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the additional strain the new pandemic has placed on health systems have disrupted HIV services.

In 2020, an estimated 9.9 million people fell ill with tuberculosis (TB) worldwide. COVID-19 caused a rise in TB deaths for the first time in a decade, from 1.2 million in 2019 to 1.3 million in 2020 (excluding TB deaths in people with HIV). TB incidence is falling at about 2% per year, which is much slower than the 4–5% annual decline that was required to achieve the 2020 milestones of the End TB Strategy. Between 2018–2020, TB treatment reached 20 million people, only half of the global target. 

There were an estimated 241 million malaria cases and 627,000 malaria deaths worldwide in 2020. This represents about 14 million more cases in 2020 compared to 2019, and 69,000 more deaths. About two thirds of the additional deaths were linked to disruptions in the provision of malaria services during the pandemic. Africa was home to 95% of malaria cases and 96% of malaria deaths.

Despite significant disruptions to health services caused by COVID-19, the global number of people requiring treatment and care for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) decreased from 2.19 billion in 2010 to 1.73 billion in 2020. Notably, in least developed countries (LDCs), 48% of the total population required NTDs treatment and care in 2020, down from 79% in 2010.

Non-communicable diseases, mental health and environmental risks

Globally, 74% of all deaths in 2019 were caused by noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). The probability of dying from any of the four main NCDs (cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease) between age 30 and 70 declined from 19.9% in 2010 to 17.8% in 2019. This rate of decline is insufficient to meet this SDG target.

Tobacco use rates have declined in 150 countries, contributing to the decline of the global average prevalence rate from 24.4% in 2015 to 22.3% in 2020. In fifteen countries, tobacco use rates are either steady or still going up.

Global suicide death rate declined by 29% from 13.0 deaths per 100,000 population in 2000 to 9.2 deaths in 2019. Although the available data do not show an increase in suicide rates during the first months of the COVID-19 crisis, the pandemic has had a severe impact on the mental health and wellbeing of people around the world. In 2020, there was an 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide. 

Health Systems and Funding

Infant immunization coverage dropped to 83% in 2020 from 86% in 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic and associated disruptions have resulted in 22.7 million children missing out on vaccinations, 3.7 million more than in 2019 and the highest number since 2005. Moreover, 17.1 million children did not receive vaccines through the routine immunization programme, an increase from 13.6 million. Measles is a highly contagious disease and the current coverage levels of 70% with 2 doses are insufficient to prevent measles outbreaks illness, disability and deaths caused by complications associated with the disease. The human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, targeting 9-14 years old girls to prevent cervical cancer, was offered in 111 countries in 2020, but is still yet to reach the poorest countries.

Improvements in essential health services, as measured by the universal health coverage service index, increased from a global average of 45 out of 100 in 2000 to 67 in 2019, with the highest score in Europe and Northern America (81), and the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa (45). The pandemic is likely to halt the continuous progress made in service coverage expansion over the past 20 years as health systems face challenges to ensure the continuity of essential health services.

Even before the pandemic, the global proportion of the population with out-of-pocket health spending exceeding 10% of their household budget was on the rise, exceeding 13%. With the combined health and economic impacts of COVID-19, people are likely to face greater financial constraints to access care and, among those paying out-of-pocket for health, financial hardship is likely to further worsen, particularly among already disadvantaged populations.

Health and care workers remain at the fore front of the COVID-19 pandemic response. In the period between January 2020 and May 2021, the pandemic may have claimed the lives of 115,500 health and care workers, globally.

Data for 2014-2020 show that the density of nursing and midwifery personnel in Northern America remains the highest, over 152 per 10,000 population— close to 4 times the global average of 40 per 10,000 and over 15 times that of sub-Saharan Africa and 8 times that of Northern Africa and Southern Asia. Despite a steady increase in the density of medical doctors per 10,000 population globally, the disparities between regions remains high—from an estimated 40 medical doctors per 10,000 population in Europe, to only 2 in sub-Saharan Africa.


Source: Report of the Secretary-General, Progress towards Sustainable Development Goals- E/2022