Sustainable Development Goals: making the world a better place

Sustainable Development Goals European Sting

(UN Sustainable Development Goals, 2016)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Ooko Lornah Akello, a final year medical student at University of Nairobi, Kenya. Ms Akello is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA). The opinion expressed in this piece belongs to the writer and does not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

Don’t we all dream and live to see the world become a better (ideally humanly perfect) place like is depicted and graphically created in the Sci-Fi movies we so love to indulge, right? So I believe that this was the very reason behind the Standard Development Goals (SDGs) and also their mother, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

SDGs are a collection of interrelated 17 global goals set by the United Nations and ratified by member states. With each having its own targets (which sum up to a total of 169) to be achieved, ideally by 2030. How far 2030 seemed then. Time’s catching up and lapsing on those targets and it’s no longer funny.

Of the 17, number 3 which is “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”, is the one directed towards health and geared towards achieving universal health coverage (UHC), a dream come true for me as an aspiring medic. But if we are to look closely and analyse the SDGs, you’ll be amazed at how they interplay and intermarry. All the SDGs have a synergistic relation to each other and so it goes without saying that SDG 3 is not the only one that affects health and the health sector.

If hunger is eradicated, achieving SDG 2, then malnutrition is curbed and under five mortality and morbidity reduces, lessening the health burden associated it. Provision of clean water and maintenance of constant supply and proper sanitation achieved (goal 6), results in reduction and possible eradication of diarrhoeal diseases which, especially in developing countries like my dear country Kenya, is a major health and economic burden. Reducing inequality, goal 10.

Doesn’t this just sit right at the core of achieving universal health coverage? If Goal 9 were achieved it would be marvellous. Imagine better roads and state of the art health facilities accessible to all. How efficient would emergency services be? By how much would mortality rate reduce? Wouldn’t it also be nice to have pharmaceuticals producing legitimate and quality drugs and maybe the discovery of the cure for cancer or maybe HIV if we invested in medical innovation?

One can only dream and wish. I recently learned of a colleague who is working on 3D virtual anatomical reconstruction. I was mind blown and just wondered what more is yet to be tapped. There’s a lot of potential out there.

I could ramble on and on and on. Such topics hold a special place in my heart and being a  medical student that fire keeps burning more and more as I advance in this career path. But I hope this inspires someone or starts a ripple effect on just how, important it is to work on these SDGs together and how health and the SDGs are connected.

About the author

Ms Ooko Lornah Akello is a final year medical student at University of Nairobi, Kenya. She is a sixth year medical student whose major lessons are from experiences in medical school and associated fields. Ms Akello is a goal-oriented, focused and disciplined medical student who is interested in and loves working with people to bring about positive change towards a better future.










the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

The Ecofin deceives the SMEs with the EIB €10bn capital increase

3 ways we are making an impact on plastic pollution

Brexit and migration dominates the debate on October’s EU summit

State aid: Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support

Every year, South Korea comes to a standstill for an exam marathon

CLIMATE CHANGE FOCUS: Climate-proofing Timor-Leste

7 of the world’s 10 most polluted cities are in India

Utmost hypocrisy emitted by EU’s energy regulation

Vienna has the world’s best quality of living

How to fix our planet: the pioneers fighting to bring nature back

Sudan: New political transition, bolstered by peacebuilding, could bring long-term stability to Darfur, Security Council told

Measles in Europe: infection rates highest in a decade, says UN health agency

Crowdfunding: what it is and what it may become

Female leaders warn about the erosion of women’s rights

Philanthropy is at a turning point. Here are 6 ways it could go

Closing the loop: Commission delivers on Circular Economy Action Plan

EU and UK soon to be in a post-Brexit rush over free trade agreement with Australia

First-ever global conference of national counter-terrorism chiefs will strengthen cooperation, build ‘resilient’ States, says top UN official

Did young people just kill television?

Why the financial scandals multiply?

This incredibly detailed map of Africa could help aid and development

UN chief appoints Luis Alfonso de Alba as Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit

UN chief encourages victims of terrorism to ‘raise up their voices’

EU Commission says falling labour remuneration leads to deflation and damages growth prospects

80 adolescents a day will still die of AIDS by 2030, despite slowdown in epidemic

This is what a planet-wide network of ocean sanctuaries could look like

A day in the life of a refugee: the wait

Nuclear non-proliferation treaty an ‘essential pillar’ of international peace, says UN chief

Can Greece’s democratic institutions keep it in Eurozone?

Recognize, celebrate and ‘stand in solidarity’ with persons with albinism

MWC 2016 LIVE: Industry looks to reduce mobile gender gap

Donor countries need to reform development finance to meet 2030 pledge

Industrial policy: recommendations to support Europe’s leadership in six strategic business areas

Four major resources for new European young entrepreneurs

Why feeding the planet doesn’t have to mean sacrificing our forests

What will Germany look like after the next election?

What Ghana can teach us about integrating refugees

Car-free day – and the other 364 days of the year

Bundestag kick starts the next episode of the Greek tragedy

Immigrants make good entrepreneurs. This study proves it

G20 LIVE: “International communities and leaders have great expectations for 2016 G20 summit in Hangzhou China”, Mr Wang Xiaolong, the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s special envoy stresses live from G20 in Antalya Turkey

UN honours peacekeepers who ‘paid the ultimate price’, for the sake of others

One billion people have preventable eye conditions, increasingly linked to lifestyle choices: UN health agency

China’s 13th Five Year Plan and the opportunities for Europe

Eurozone closer to a deflation – stagnation trap

Brexit kick-off: a historic day for the EU anticlockwise

The EU Parliament sidesteps the real issues about banks, while the US target the Eurozone lenders

Blockchain will make sure green pledges aren’t just greenwash: a new initiative by young leaders at the World Economic Forum

South Africa’s SMEs should be first in line for a digital upgrade

Artificial intelligence summit focuses on fighting hunger, climate crisis and transition to ‘smart sustainable cities’

Black Panther’s ‘General Okoye’ joins the fight against gender-based violence

Smart city experts should be looking to emerging markets. Here’s why

How the diaspora is helping Venezuela’s migration crisis

SMEs are driving job growth, but need higher investment in skills, innovation and tech to boost wages and productivity

Brussels to point the finger to Washington for lack of commitment over TTIP

Diversity training doesn’t change people’s behaviour. We need to find out what does

Eurozone banks to separate risky activities: Can they stay afloat?

UN welcomes ‘milestone’ release of 833 Nigerian children from anti-Boko Haram force

EU’s unsparing question to UK: now what kind of future relations do you want?

Brexit talks: Today the world to hear of a predictable failure

More Stings?


  1. Hi there Sting’s Team! This is an idea that you might like:

    Despite the high quality of life that some of the so-called developed nations have achieved, the truth is that the world, considered as a group of countries located in a fragile and geographically limited biosphere, is threatened with extinction due to human conflicts and the depredation of the environment.
    Notwithstanding the good and very important actions taken by groups and individuals in favor of a better world, deterioration at all levels continues to increase dangerously.
    After more than thirty years dedicated to these matters, and since “an image is worth a thousand words” we have come up with a novel idea of designing a model city that has all the characteristics of infrastructure and organization inherent to the peaceful and sustainable society that we want for ourselves and our descendants, whose representation in the form of scale models, animated series, feature films, video games and theme parks, would constitute a model to follow to generate the necessary changes.
    The prototype that we present has some characteristics that are opposed, sometimes in a radical way, to the religious, economic, political and educational traditions and customs that have been transmitted from generation to generation, yet are the causes of the aforementioned problems, and therefore must be transformed.
    If you are interested in knowing about this project, or even participating in it, we invite you to visit our website (written in Spanish and English), where we are working in that sense.

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s