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Table of Contents
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 85-86

Rekindling the focus on sustainable development goals

Department of CNE and Research, College of Nursing, CMC, Vellore, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication01-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Vinitha Ravindran
Department of CNE and Research, College of Nursing, CMC, Vellore - 632 004, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJCN.IJCN_23_20

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How to cite this article:
Ravindran V. Rekindling the focus on sustainable development goals. Indian J Cont Nsg Edn 2019;20:85-6

How to cite this URL:
Ravindran V. Rekindling the focus on sustainable development goals. Indian J Cont Nsg Edn [serial online] 2019 [cited 2023 Mar 26];20:85-6. Available from: https://www.ijcne.org/text.asp?2019/20/2/85/285589

The burden of continuing prevalence of known diseases and the emergence of new infections in addition to the suboptimal socioeconomic environment for healthy living in many countries have forced us to think of strategies that would make lives healthy and happy for humans as well as other living beings. The United Nations has already come up with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) to combat this issue. In 2015, about 170 member countries of the UN adopted SDGs as a call to action to end hunger and poverty and make the world a place for everyone to live in peace and prosperity by 2030. It is imperative that nurses have a knowledge of SDGs to know the global expectations with in which they can situate their contributions in health care. SDGs are built on the outcomes of the millennium development goals (MDGs), which was initiated in 2000 and ended in 2015. While MDGs focused on middle- and low-income countries and overlooked the environmental impact and the importance of holistic development, SDGs address the environmental concerns and have emphasised on other vital issues such as poverty, hunger, gender equality and human rights. SDGs demand action from all countries in the world.[1] There are 17 SDGs with 169 targets: no poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation, affordable and clean energy, decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, reduced inequalities, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water, life on land, peace, justice and strong institutions and finally partnerships for the goals.[2] The SDG pledge 'leave no one behind' emphasises the need for focusing our attention on vulnerable population such as those who are poor, hungry or marginalised because of gender (girls) or diseases (HIV).[3]

Although SDG 3, 'good health and well-being', is most applicable to nurses as health-care professionals; all SDGs are interrelated and integrated. SDG 3 emphasises on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. The 'leave no one behind' principle should be applied within health care also. Gender, age, ethnicity, type of diseases or economic status should not be a hurdle for individuals to access health care and benefit from health-care policies. Although some progress has been made in controlling diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis and in reducing the infant and mortality rates in India since the implementation of MDGs and the initiation of SDGs, the challenge of new pandemic diseases, increasing prevalence of non-communicable diseases and persisting higher childhood and maternal mortality rate in South Asia remains a threat to health of individuals in India, with the access to universal affordable health care being the greatest challenge.[4]

SDG 3 focuses on a wide spectrum of targets that includes maternal and child health, non-communicable and communicable diseases. Reducing global maternal mortality to <70 per 100,000 live births, all countries' neonatal mortality to <12 and under-five mortality to <25 per 1000 live births and premature mortality related non communicable diseases by one-third are some essential targets of SDG-3 to be achieved by 2030. Mental health and suicide prevention is given importance in this goal within the prevention and control non-communicable diseases. Another target which is noteworthy is the emphasis on reduction of 50% global mortality by road traffic injuries by 2020.[4]

It has been 5 years since the SDGs have been accepted by member countries and it is important to review and see how much we, as nurses, contribute to achievement of these targets. The importance of SDGs for nurses has been clearly elucidated by the International Council for Nurses' choice of International Nurses day 2017 Theme – Nursing: A voice to lead – Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.[5] Nurses are in better position to advocate for people, we care for others, we teach and we help to bring change, we empower people and ensure a safe environment for holistic healing. Most of all we are a special group who are taught to think of social, economical and environmental determinants of health and illness from the commencement of our training which makes us the group who can make a difference in the lives of individual, communities and countries not only in health matters but almost in all the SDGs. We are indeed in a pivotal position to move the SDGs forward in our country and bring peace and prosperity. As we continue our caring, let us remember what Dr Margaret Chan, Director General, World Health Organization, has said 'Nurses respond to the health needs of people in all settings and throughout the lifespan. Their roles are critical in achieving global mandates such as universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.'[5]

  References Top

Ramachandra P. India's Transition from MDG To SDG: Challenges and Opportunities: NAMS –NFI Symposium Nov 2015; 2015. Available from: https://nams-india.in/downloads/cmeevents/nfi05.pdf. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 20].  Back to cited text no. 1
United Nations (UN). Sustainable development goals; 2015. Available from: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 20].  Back to cited text no. 2
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Sustainable development goals; 2019. Available from: https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals.html [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 20].  Back to cited text no. 3
United Nations (UN) SDG3: Good Health and Well-being; 2019. Available from: https://in.one.un.org/page/sustainable-development-goals/sdg-3-2/. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 20].  Back to cited text no. 4
ICN. Nurses' Role in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. International Nurses Day Resources and Evidence; 2017. Available from: https://www.icnvoicetolead.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ICN_AVoiceToLead_guidancePack-9.pdf. [Last accessed on 2019 Nov 20].  Back to cited text no. 5


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