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Health Matters

Poor health and poverty go hand in hand. Health is an important economic driver, and our work and the work of our partners is focused on ensuring that poor people, especially women and children, can live healthier lives and reach their full human potential. 

Health Overview © CONCERN

In 2015, 5.9 million children under the age of five died. That is nearly 700 children every hour. More than half of these children died from a condition that could have been easily prevented or cured with simple affordable interventions.

Health and the Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, Ireland helped to successfully broker the new Sustainable Development Goals, following the completion of the era of the Millennium Development Goals. While great progress was made in achieving health outcomes during the MDGs, a lot of work remains to do, and Ireland is committed to play our part in ensuring the success of the SDGs.

SDG 3 aims specifically to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” but health is a central aspect of achieving many other of the SDGs, including those related to poverty, hunger, inequality and economic growth.

In order to achieve these goals, our work in Global Health and HIV/AIDS focuses on:

Progress made, but challenges remain

Significant progress has been made on many health outcomes over the past years and throughout the period of the MDGs, including:

However despite this progress, making better health a reality for every person in the world remains a challenge, and it is vital that we don’t lose focus in our work. Some of the biggest challenges that face us in our mission to realise health as a fundamental human right include:

Visit our website for more information on our Sustainable Development Goals

Poverty and poor health go hand in hand

Why is a child born in sub-Saharan Africa 14 times more likely to die before the age of five than a child from a developed country?

“The biggest enemy of health in the developing world is poverty.” - Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

Poverty is both a cause and effect of poor health, and improvements in health have been shown to lead to economic gains. People living in poverty often cannot access healthcare, while the costs of healthcare can drive people further into poverty. Building strong and resilient health systems and ensuring that poor and marginalised people have access to quality basic healthcare is one of our priority areas of action.

Read about how Ireland is contributing to better health

Our Work in Mozambique
Our Work in Sierra Leone
Our Work in Ethiopia
Our Work in Tanzania