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Paediatricians and the Sustainable Development Goals

PIPSQC is pleased to share the recent publication in The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, entitled "Paediatricians and the Sustainable Development Goals."

The publication is available online at:


In September, 2015, during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, 193 member states of the UN signed up to the global development agenda termed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), 1 replacing the concluded millennium development goals (MDGs). The MDGs, agreed on by 189 countries in September, 2000, targeted poverty, maternal and child health, and actions against HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis, and malaria. 2 Of the eight MDGs, goals four and five specifically focused on reducing maternal deaths by 75% and child deaths by 66% from the estimated 1990 base figures, by the year 2015. Although the world failed to meet these targets overall, the number of deaths in children in aged 5 years or younger dropped from an estimated 12·4 million in 1990 to 5·9 million by 2015—the fastest rates of reduction in preventable child deaths globally. It can be argued that the MDGs played a hugely important role in galvanising governments, UN agencies, academia, health-care professionals, and civic society organisations for concerted actions to reduce maternal and child mortality and also facilitated global reporting and accountability in ways never seen before. 3, 4 However, in the words of Anthony Lake of UNICEF, "Disaggregate the data and we find that our statistical national successes are masking moral and practical failures; people who are left behind simply because they live in rural communities or urban slums, in conflict zones, as part of indigenous groups, with disabilities or because they are girls". 5 These stark global disparities are most evident in the context of poverty, poor living conditions, and displaced populations, and epitomise the challenges that the world faces as it transitions from the MDGs to the SDGs.