This commentary on the latest estimates and analyses from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015 discusses how they provide a vital link between the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2016–30: reporting global and national trends in various health metrics, associating trends with national development measured through a Socio-demographic Index (SDI), and profiling epidemiological and health transitions across the world.
Food security is enshrined in SDG2 and is also a core component of the human development and capability paradigm, since food access and entitlements are critical for reinforcing essential human capabilities. This paper argues that agriculture is central to improving food security and reducing poverty in Africa, requiring rapid increases in land productivity and increases in agricultural yields. A science-based approach that integrates gender and sustainability is critical to design and implement policies that improve the availability of farm inputs and farm technology.
One of the SDG 3 targets for non-communicable diseases is to halt by 2025 the rise in the age-standardised adult prevalence of diabetes at its 2010 levels. This article provides the most complete estimates of trends in adult diabetes prevalence worldwide, and predicts how likely it is for countries to achieve the global target and how changes in prevalence, population growth, and ageing, are affecting the number of adults with diabetes. If post-2000 trends continue, the probability of meeting the global diabetes target is lower than 1% for men and is 1% for women worldwide.
This article provides the most complete picture of trends in adult body-mass index (BMI), including, for the first time, in underweight and severe and morbid obesity. In addition, authors calculate the probability of meeting the WHO target of halting by 2025 the rise in obesity at its 2010 levels. The results are damning, with authors concluding that if post-2000 trends continue, the probability of meeting the global obesity target is virtually zero. This raises questions for the SDG 3 target related to reducing mortality rates attributed to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease.
Nurses receive instruction in mobile nursing education in Kenya through Amref’s Jibu pilot. (Credit: Amref)
In order to achieve SDG target 3C, investments in the healthcare workforce is essential. New and innovative methods need to be deployed to train and develop the skills of healthcare workers. In Kenya, AMREF has launched a programme that enables nurses to learn on their mobile phones through a mobile nursing education app. Supported by a three-year grant from the Elsevier Foundation, Jibu (the name of the m-learning programme), offers a low-cost yet effective way for nurses to access up to date content.
New born baby being resuscitated
Every year, an estimated 1.8 million newborns die from breathing related problems. Precious time is lost when birth attendants interrupt critical ventilation to check a newborn’s heart rate by hand. Elsevier brought together five experts from diverse fields, who used their skills and creativity to brainstorm a solution. It's one example of a successful multidisciplinary approach, in this case to help the advancement of SDG 3.2, to end preventable deaths of newborns and children under 5 years of age.
Millennium Development Goal 5 called for a 75% reduction in the maternal mortality ratio between 1990 and 2015. This article estimates the levels and trends in maternal mortality for 183 countries to assess the progress made on this goal, and also constructs projections to show what is needed to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) of less than 70 maternal deaths per 100 000 livebirths globally by 2030. Although the SDG target is ambitious, countries that made a concerted effort to reduce maternal mortality between 2000 and 2010 should provide inspiration and guidance.
Elsevier,

Physics Reports, Volume 664, Pages 1-113, 9 December 2016

Historically, infectious diseases caused considerable damage to human societies, and they continue to do so today. To help reduce their impact, mathematical models of disease transmission have been studied to help understand disease dynamics and inform prevention strategies. Vaccination–one of the most important preventive measures of modern times–is of great interest both theoretically and empirically. Recent research increasingly explores the pivotal implications of individual behaviour and heterogeneous contact patterns in populations. The success of SDG 3 relies to a large extent on vaccination programmes.
Between 1990 and 2015, 29 of 33 provinces in China achieved a decrease in under-5 mortality rates twice as fast as the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target. In this article, authors declare that the reduction of under-5 mortality in China at the country, provincial, and county level has been “an extraordinary success story”. China should now build on this achievement and look to study and replicate success in other developing countries to meet the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) target of lowering under-5 mortality to 25 per 1000 livebirths by 2030 throughout the country.
China has experienced a remarkable epidemiological and demographic transition during the past three decades. This article importantly advances SDG 3. It offers the first ever systematic analysis of provincial level burden of disease in China. It includes an assessment of and trends in all-cause mortality, causes of death, and years of life lost (YLL) in all 33 provinces between 1990 and 2013. Understanding subnational trends will be crucial in tackling the diverse health challenges faced by provincial governments and to ensure healthy lives and wellbeing for all Chinese at all ages.

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