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Proposed Sustainable Development Goals Need Greater Health Focus

In this SciDev.Net opinion piece, journalist Priya Shetty writes that the Sustainable Development Goals — a successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) proposed to begin in 2015 — “need more focus on health to continue the progress achieved with MDGs.” She continues, “[A]lthough early drafts of the SDGs address issues that the MDGs neglected, such as food security, they are light on health and many social issues (education, for example, or gender equity). This should be of major concern to public health experts.”

“The progress made [toward the MDGs] so far shows the importance of setting clear targets,” Shetty writes, adding, “And there were glaring gaps.” She continues, “The SDGs are not yet set in stone, and we are still in that critical period when shortcomings can be remedied,” and concludes, “If approached properly, the SDGs could be even more successful than the MDGs, by tackling issues at the crossroads between health and environmental sustainability — such as the intersection between climate change and infectious diseases” (2/16).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.