Updated: Sep 28, 2022
By Sanjay Tugnait
United Nations social Development Goal # 3 seeks to provide equal access for all to safe, effective, quality, and affordable medicines and vaccines to all men and women of every age. It proposes to end the preventable death of new-borns, infants and children under five and end epidemics. SDG 3 also calls for bigger investments in research and development, health financing and health risk reduction and management. Considering the global pandemic of Covid-19, there is a need to give significant attention towards the realization of good health and wellbeing on a global scale.
New-borns account for a growing number of these deaths, and poorer children are at the greatest risk of under-five. According to statistics, globally, "2.4 million children died in the first month of life in 2019 – approximately 6,700 neonatal deaths every day. SDG 3 also aims to reduce maternal mortality to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births.
The UN has outlined 13 targets for executing and monitoring:
Target 3.1: Reduce maternal mortality
Target 3.2: End all preventable deaths under five years of age
Target 3.3: Fight communicable diseases
Target 3.4: Reduce mortality from non-communicable diseases and promote mental health
Target 3.5: Prevent and treat substance abuse
Target 3.6: Reduce Road injuries and deaths
Target 3.7: Universal access to sexual and reproductive care, family planning and education
Target 3.8: Achieve universal health coverage
Target 3.9: Reduce illnesses and deaths from hazardous chemicals and pollution
Target 3.a: Implement the WHO framework convention on tobacco control
Target 3.b: Support research, development and universal access to affordable vaccines and medicines
Target 3.c: Increase health financing and support health workforce in developing countries
Target 3.d: Improve early warning systems for global health risks
According to the Government of Canada, it is committed to improving air quality, protecting Canadians and the environment from harmful substances, and increasing communities' resilience to infectious disease challenges. This is linked with the SDG 3.9 where the Canadian government is working to address air pollution and assess and manage chemicals. The Government of Canada's Air Quality Program focuses on domestic and international work to improve air quality and reduce the effects of outdoor and indoor air pollution on human health and the environment. It helps to inform Canadians about the health risks of outdoor and indoor air pollution and encourages personal actions to reduce these risks. The Government of Canada also works to address air pollutant emissions from industrial sectors and equipment, the transportation sector, and consumer and commercial products that are used every day.
Companies and businesses can contribute towards UN SDG 3- 'Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages' in many ways.
One such initiative can be to invest in women’s health. It not only benefits employees and surrounding communities, but it can also have a positive social and economic effect on the private sector.
In ensuring that workers have safe working conditions and available health services, companies establish healthier staff, better relationships, and in many cases higher Return-on-investment (ROI).
Beyond the basic obligation for ensuring occupational health and safety, companies have enormous potential to positively advance the health and well-being of their workforce.
The UN Secretary-General encourages companies to coordinate their response efforts towards making a financial contribution to the Pooled funds and The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The Pooled funds enable humanitarian partners operating in countries affected by natural disasters and armed conflict to quickly deliver flexible and effective life-saving assistance to people who need it the most. A contribution to CERF is a contribution to people most in need so that their immediate needs for food, water, shelter, health care, protection and other services can be met through programmes prioritized by humanitarian partners on the ground. Businesses can obtain more information on partnering with the UN in response to crisis at https://business.un.org/en/disasters/7677
One such initiative is undertaken by a FCCCO member company – BNP Paribas. The company’s strategies are aligned with goals defined by the UN. By mapping the connections between the SDG and their CSR commitment and activities, BNP Paribas is effectively delivering the targets. Their activities that support hospital customer relate to the SDG 3 – “Good health and well-being”.
Here at FCCCO, we aim at connecting businesses to avenues that support the causes that affect us all. We would love to hear how your business is committed to the UN’s SDG goals.