Post-pandemic health inequalities: global estimates of the evolution of the health-related SDG indicators
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Fiocruz Minas Brazil
Fiocruz Minas / UFMG, Brazil
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A785
Background and objective:
The world has entered a critical period for accelerating the responses to the main global challenges expressed in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), from the elimination of poverty and hunger to improving health to tackling climate change. Much of the previous efforts, however, have been hampered by the direct and indirect impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Against this backdrop, this study estimates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the health-related indicators, making it possible to size the countermeasures necessary to keep the commitments of the 2030 Agenda.

We explore the evolution of 40 health-related SDGs indicators, covering seven major health themes, using the information available for 185 countries in the period between 2000 and 2019. A global counterfactual evolution curve is estimated by using panel data models. The curves allow the extrapolation of the impact of revisions of the expected growth of the Gross National Product per capita on the potential evolution of each indicator for all countries.

The disproportionately greater economic losses in the poorest countries may increase global health inequalities in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although the average expected loss in the evolution of the health-related indicators is around 5’, in some countries the damage is five times worse, amplified by the indirect impact of economic losses on maternal and children health indicators. At the same time, the greater fiscal room to accommodate increases of expenditures in the developed world should also contribute to increase global disparities.

The study’s findings reveal the importance of incorporating the fight against health inequalities in the global development agendas, which can be oriented by the SDGs.

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