SDG 3
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We have made huge strides in reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Since 1990, there has been an over 50 percent decline in preventable child deaths globally. Maternal mortality also fell by 45 percent worldwide. New HIV/AIDS infections fell by 30 percent between 2000 and 2013, and over 6.2 million lives were saved from malaria.

Despite this incredible progress, more than 6 million children still die before their fifth birthday every year. 16,000 children die each day from preventable diseases such as measles and tuberculosis. Every day hundreds of women die during pregnancy or from child-birth related complications. In many rural areas, only 56 percent of births are attended by skilled professionals. AIDS is now the leading cause of death among teenagers in sub-Saharan Africa, a region still severely devastated by the HIV epidemic.

These deaths can be avoided through prevention and treatment, education, immunization campaigns, and sexual and reproductive healthcare. The Sustainable Development Goals make a bold commitment to end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030. The aim is to achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and affordable medicines and vaccines for all. Supporting research and development for vaccines is an essential part of this process as well.

Goals in action

UNDP in Afghanistan

All access Afghanistan: Female nurses for underserved rural communities

In a student hostel in Jalalabad, Afghanistan something extraordinary is taking place. A young woman sits on her hostel bed, bent over a textbook. This is Abida, and she is training to be a nurse in a country where most women haven’t finished primary school. MORE >

UNDP in Guatemala

Women survivors raise their voices for justice

More than 30 years after she saw her family and community torn apart by Guatemala’s decades-long civil war, Elena de Paz decided to tell her story. She was one of the 97 witnesses who testified during the trial for crimes against humanity. MORE >

UNDP in Tanzania

Keeping children worm-free in Tanzania

A lack of sufficient hygiene and activities such as swimming or fishing in infested water make school-aged children especially vulnerable to infection. The disease is also more common in poor communities. MORE >

UNDP in Bhutan

The climate shifts. Bhutan responds.

Despite the susceptibility of Bhutan’s public health to climate change, the country has worked hard to strengthen its capacity to adapt to climate change. An important innovation of the Bhutanese initiative is linking climate data with epidemiological surveillance. MORE >


UNDP in Lao PDR

Community radio makes waves

UNDP works with the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to support community radio stations that provide educational programming as well as vital information on health and sanitation. MORE >