Bergen - Aside from countries hit by the HIV epidemic or war, the number of premature deaths has fallen worldwide since 1970. This is shown by an analysis by health researchers in the Lancet (2014; doi: 10.1016 / S0140-6736 (14) 61591-9), the authors of which, despite all current conflicts, consider further significant reduction to be possible.
In the year In 2000 the United Nations set eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), three of which concerned the health of the population. One, the fight against HIV / AIDS, malaria and other serious diseases (MDG 6) was formulated in general terms, the other two set clear guidelines: by 2015 child mortality should be by two thirds (MDG 4) and maternal mortality by three quarters (MDG 5 ).
Both goals are missed, but have nonetheless proven helpful, according to Ole Norheim from the University of Bergen in Norway. Even if MDG 4 and MDG 5 were not met, child and maternal mortality was reduced and turning point could have been reached in the case of HIV / AIDS, malaria and some other diseases.
Next year, the United Nations intends to define 17 new so-called Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by the year 2030, one of which is presumably the “Security healthy living and promoting well-being in all age groups ”(SDG 3). There should be numerically measurable goals in three sub-points of SDG 3. Child mortality is to be reduced by two thirds to at least 2 percent and maternal mortality by three quarters to at least 40 deaths per 100,000 live births. In addition, the number of deaths from non-communicable diseases of under 70s is to be reduced by 30 percent.
Norheim is now proposing further goal of reducing the number of all premature deaths, i.e. all deaths of people under the age of 70, by 40 percent. Norheim et al., This goal appears quite realistic, provided trend that has been documented since 1970 continues.
According to the analysis, between 1970 and 2010 there was reduction in child mortality by two thirds from 14 to 5 percent (that MDG 4 had called for reduction from 10.6 to 3.5 percent for the period 1991 to 2015). The proportion of people who died before the age of 50 has almost halved since 1970 from 28 to 15 percent. And the proportion of people who died before the age of 70 has decreased by third from 54 to 36 percent.
These favorable trends have hit most, but not all, regions in recent years to. For example, child mortality increased until 1975 in Bangladesh, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Africa and Vietnam due to political crises. In the last two decades it only rose in South Africa (because of AIDS) and in the Congo (because of war).
In the meantime, there was an increase in adult mortality in South Africa (AIDS), in Russia ( political change and alcohol), Iran (war with Iraq) or Thailand (AIDS). In most countries, however, the trend was down across all age groups. If the current development continues, then according to the calculations presented, the global mortality rate would decrease by 35 percent by 2030. For Norheim, reduction of 40 percent is therefore realistic goal.