September 19, 2014
An article published today in The Lancet suggests that the world could reduce preventable deaths by 40% by the year 2030. Avoiding 40% of premature deaths in each country 2010-30: review of national mortality trends to help quantify the UN Sustainable Development Goal for health (40% by 2030),was authored by a group of 16 international contributors, including Global Health 2035 Commissioners Dean Jamison and Gavin Yamey. The article finds that with continued international efforts, one-half of premature deaths before the age of 50, and one-third of premature deaths (death under the age of 70) could be prevented by the year 2030.
The UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be expiring in 2015, and are being succeeded by a new set of goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will run from 2016-2030. The SDG Open Working Group has produced a 'zero draft' in which they outline a new health goal to "Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages". Authors of the "40% by 2030" paper propose a quantifiable, measureable target to "avoid in each country 40% of all premature deaths, and improve health care at all ages".
The results of the "40% by 2030" paper coincide with projected convergence models in Global Health 2035. Authors of Global Health 2035 contend that reductions in preventable infectious, maternal, and child deaths to levels seen in the best-performing middle-income countries could lead to a "grand convergence" within a generation. The "40% by 2030" paper builds upon the idea of reducing premature infectious, maternal, and child deaths to include reductions in premature deaths due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries. Commissioner and co-author Professor Dean Jamison said,
"Our analysis in the Lancet provides an approach to quantifying the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals now being developed by the UN that will also include targets for reduction of heart disease, cancer and injury mortality and thereby make the goals relevant for all countries, including the US".
The "40% by 2030" paper offers a unique and innovative perspective for the post-2015 global health landscape. Governments are strongly encouraged to define country specific goals and interventions to reach this 40% reduction in premature death.