The 'Sustainable Public Health Index': What if public health and sustainable development are compatible?

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Date: Jan. 2022
From: World Development(Vol. 149)
Publisher: Elsevier Science Publishers
Document Type: Report
Length: 410 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Public health; Sustainable development; Composite indicator; Benefit-of-the-doubt; Sustainable Development Goals Highlights * Proposal of a sustainable public health index framework based on the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 3. * Assessment of 181 World Health Organization (WHO) Member States between 2016 and 2020. * Inclusion of desirable and undesirable indicators via the 'Benefit-of-the-Doubt' approach. * Less than 28% of the WHO Member States remained efficient in the five-year period, with a clear dominance of the European Region. * Indicators regarding health personnel improved, but indicators concerning neonatal and under-five mortality rates worsened. Abstract Nowadays, public health and sustainable development go hand in hand towards the renovated perception of the former. Indeed, "ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages", which established one of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), seeks to ensure that this conception is not only reinforced, but also that saving lives takes into account the physical, mental, and social well-being of populations whose "development meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". Accordingly, it is useful to interpret and convey information pertaining to this multidimensional concept in a way that encapsulates all its facets. Since this can be achieved through a composite indicator (CI), we propose a sustainable public health index framework, based on the 13 targets of the UN's SDG 3 between 2016 and 2020. For this reason, using the popular CI-generating 'Benefit-of-the-Doubt' approach while considering desirable and undesirable indicators, we apply this framework to 181 World Health Organization Member States. We show that, from 2016 to 2020, less than 28% of them remained efficient and the European Region clearly dominated the remaining regions, which tended to decrease their performance, on average. Finally, we also reveal the global efforts towards improving the Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel and the Density of medical doctors per 10,000 population, and the failure in achieving an acceptable Neonatal mortality rate, Under-five mortality rate, and a Number of people requiring interventions against neglected tropical diseases. Author Affiliation: (a) CEG-IST, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001, Lisboa, Portugal (b) CERIS-IST, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001, Lisboa, Portugal * Corresponding author at: Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001, Lisboa, Portugal. Article History: Accepted 27 September 2021 Byline: Miguel Alves Pereira [miguelalvespereira@tecnico.ulisboa.pt] (a,b,*), Rui Cunha Marques [rui.marques@tecnico.ulisboa.pt] (b)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A679876612