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February 05, 2018

Countdown to 2030 launches its first report of the SDGs era

Countdown to 2030 has just launched its first report of SDGs era at a meeting in Stellenbosch, South Africa, on 31th January. In light of the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and Every Woman Every Child Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescent’s Health (2016–2030), the report summarizes data on current situation and trends in women’s, children’s and adolescent’s health for the 81 countries that account for 95% of all maternal deaths and 90% of all child deaths.

The report points out a decrease in the wealth-related and urban–rural inequalities in the composite coverage index in most of the countries. However, there is a persistent variation between countries, with some of them presenting massive inequalities between rich and poor people, while other countries have almost no inequality.

In The Lancet article of the report, the authors highlight three main conclusions: 

• First, although progress was made in the coverage of many essential RMNCH interventions, the 81 Countdown countries remain far from universal coverage for most essential interventions for reproductive, maternal, newborn, child health and nutrition. 

• Second, within-country inequalities in intervention coverage are reducing at a very slow pace in most countries. 

• Third, measurement improvements should focus on strengthening vital statistics, understanding drivers of intervention coverage change and generating better data on nutrition programs, early childhood development and adolescent health.

The International Center for Equity in Health was the group in charge for the analysis of inequalities in individual interventions for reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health and inequalities of the composite coverage index as well. 

Key takeaways about inequalities health:

• Universal Health Coverage: Nigeria was the most unequal Countdown country on the composite coverage index, followed by Angola.

• Inequality across ethnic groups: In six of eight Countdown countries in Latin America and the Caribbean studied, indigenous women have markedly lower coverage of skilled birth attendant than nonindigenous women do.

• Regular monitoring of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health interventions through an equity lens is essential for identifying groups on which efforts to reach universal coverage should be focused. Equity sensitive monitoring is essential for policymaking and programming at the country level.

Check out the equity country profiles: http://countdown2030.org/country-and-regional-networks/equity-profiles