Australia is ranked in the top 10 in the world for a new health study related to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, published in The Lancet today.
The report, by the international Global Burden of Disease Study (GBD) collaboration, analysed each country’s progress towards achieving health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets by creating an overall SDG Index score.
Countries were then ranked by their scores to show which nations are closest to achieving the targets.
RMIT’s Associate Professor Aunty Kerrie Doyle was one of the study’s data collaborators for the Australia-Pacific region and took part in its statistical review.
“These results show Australia is doing very well in its commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN,” she said.
“Being in the top 10 means Australia leads the world in public health-related targets such as immunisation rates, water quality, communicable diseases, and OH&S issues.
“The UN's SDG are targets for 2030 – each nation state is tasked with meeting health-related goals that are most relevant to their populations.
“For example, Australia has minimal notifications of malaria, but other countries continue to have high numbers of notifications.”
A nation’s SDG index score is based on a scale of zero to 100. As a result, Iceland tops the list with a score of 85, Australia makes it into the top 10 with a score of 81.
The lowest-scoring nation was the Central African Republic, at 20. The United States has a score of 75, just behind Slovenia, Greece, and Japan, all at 76.
To see how nations compare to others, countries were divided into five categories, based on a combination of education, fertility, and income per capita – going beyond the historical “developed” vs. “developing” or economic divisions based solely on income.
The GBD is the largest and most comprehensive epidemiological effort to quantify health loss across places and over time.
The GBD enterprise – now consisting of more than 1,800 researchers and policymakers in nearly 130 nations and territories – is coordinated by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington in the USA.
For interviews: Associate Professor Aunty Kerrie Doyle.
For general media enquiries: Louise Handran, (03) 9925 9088 or 0400 715 363.