Program & Administrative Associate
Highlighting UN SDG #3: Good Health & Well-Being
April 14th, 2020
Today marks six years since the horrific kidnapping of 276 girls from their government secondary school in Chibok, Nigeria. Taken by the militant, terrorist group, Boko Haram, these young students experienced extreme brutality and violence at the hands of their captors. Some girls escaped, others were rescued, some were killed, some were forced into marriage and slavery. 112 remain missing and unaccounted for. The severe challenges to the health and well-being of the Chibok girls while they were held captive cannot be exaggerated. For those still in captivity, we cannot fully determine the extent of the abuses they are suffering. In response to this mass kidnapping, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign was launched to raise awareness of the assault on girls and education, while pressuring the Nigerian government to take action against these terrorists.
The protection of children is critical for their health and well-being, for their education and their ability to live freely and exercise their right to a healthy, happy life. In working towards the achievement of UN SDG #3, advocacy for the remaining 112 Chibok school girls still in captivity and all vulnerable children the world over, is an important component of this work.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #3 promotes the healthy lives and well-being of all people of all ages around the world. It covers a wide range of health issues including maternal health, child health, mental health, infectious diseases and healthcare accessibility. This goal is important because good health is essential to creating prosperous societies that can thrive economically, politically and socially. According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), a focus on global health can also help uncover issues around inequality, poverty, education and the environment as many health issues tend to disproportionately affect underprivileged populations. We are already seeing evidence of the health inequities in the wake of the Corona pandemic and its impact on the poorest people and People of Color. The UN SDGs are all interconnected, but global health and well-being are some of the top indicators to measure progress made in addressing the many complex, overlapping challenges communities face.
Good Health & Well-Being in Today’s World
The world is currently struggling with good health and well-being in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, which has had severe and long-lasting, detrimental effects on healthcare systems, economies, education, the safety of vulnerable populations and resources. SDG #3 is critical to the UN’s inter-agency efforts to tackle the current epidemic in the most effective way possible. Goal #3 also outlines the importance of providing funding for adequate early warning systems for global health risks, in addition to research, vaccination development and support for healthcare workers. This goal is important now, more than ever, in the global efforts to put an end to the spread of the novel Coronavirus. The World Health Organization (WHO), a specialized UN agency dedicated to international public health, is currently leading these efforts by engaging with international institutions, businesses, organizations and the general public to help share important information and be innovative in reaching the populations who need the most help.
How to Get Involved
According to WHO, there are many ways in which people can help combat COVID and support their local communities in order to support the achievement of Goal #3 during the COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Practice social distancing and stay inside
2. Wash your hands properly and disinfect surfaces frequently
3. Check on vulnerable populations from a safe distance or virtually
4. Support organizations helping those most in need with food and donations
5. Support digital mental health services and share their resources online
6. Support medical professionals working on the front lines with supplies, moral support and volunteering
7. Be responsible and combat misinformation by only sharing credible information online
8. Help uplift your communities emotionally through art, music, prayer and creativity
9. Advocate for better healthcare policies and funding for global health research
There are many ways to stay informed and support those who need help during this pandemic. As the COVID-19 crisis continues to plague most corners of the world, it is important to remember that no effort is too small to have a positive impact, especially in your local community. This global outbreak has reminded us all of our deep interconnectedness and interdependence: our actions and lives directly impact each other in substantial ways and it is our collective action that is needed in order to move on from this catastrophe. Good health and well-being go beyond physical and mental health; Goal #3 also encompasses emotional and spiritual health and healing.