Role of the healthcare professionals in achieving the 2030 agenda, as the final countdown begins

UN in collaboration with Project Everyone

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Ms. Aqiba Malik, currently a 4th year student of MBBS in Rawalpindi Medical University, Pakistan. She is a member of IFMSA-Pakistan.. She is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

      The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs also known as Global Goals) are 17 goals with 169 targets that all UN member states have agreed to work towards achieving by the year 2030. They created a vision to make the world free from poverty, hunger and disease.

 Last year in September, a global call for a Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs by 2030, was announced by the UN Secretary General. It set out a need for scaled up ambitions and urgent actions for the goal.

Of the 17 SDGs adopted at the 17th session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, to be achieved by 2030, the 3rd SDG to “ensure the healthy lives and promote well being for all at all ages” is specific to health. Equity is the main focus of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development, as the para 26 of the agenda states: To promote physical and mental health and well being and to extend life expectancy for all, we must achieve universal health coverage and access to quality health care, none must be left behind. This highlighted the role of the health sector in addressing the needs of the most disadvantaged and vulnerable.

The WHO Global Strategy on human resources for health workforce 2030 recognizes that by utilizing the potential of Community based health workers in interprofessional primary care teams and integrating these cadres in the health system, potential needs for the SDGs could be addressed.

Community based health workers play a key role in health care delivery and in promoting equitable expansion of coverage for a range of preventive, promotive and curative services related to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health, infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

The health workforce has a significant role towards the preparedness and response to emergencies and disasters by participating in the national health emergency management systems, local leadership and provisions of health services.

As the epidemiological profiles and population structures are evolving, the load of NCDs on the health system all over the world is increasing. NCDs are included in SDG with the following target, “by 2030 reduce by one third (relative to 2015 levels) premature mortality from NCDs through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being.” This is accompanied by shift in demand for

  • patient centered care
  • community based health services
  • personalized long-term care
  • demand for the global health workforce is expected to grow.

Moreover, only the provision of high-quality health care services cannot fulfil the needs of health-related SDGs, some are related to a person’s environment and thus require a joint effort between sectors from local to national and international development partners, while some demand public awareness of preventable illnesses and provision of a supportive environment.

As we struggle to achieve these SDGs and ensure ‘leave none behind’, it is important that we promote research on community -based health-workers and their significant role to public policy objectives.

About the author

AQIBA is currently a 4th year student of MBBS in Rawalpindi Medical University, Pakistan. She is a member of IFMSA-Pakistan.

  • She has participated in many writing competitions
  •  Has attended many workshops
  •  Has served as ambassador
  •  Has also been part of many organizing committees of international conferences.
  •  Also served as a coordinator at SYNCH (Solidarity Among Young Nation FOR Change) society of RMU.
  • She holds keen interest in research and is currently doing on two different topics.

 She is interested in different medical awareness campaigns and believes that Medical Community can play significant role in creating public health awareness.

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