Achieving good health and well-being for all is essential because health is fundamental to the success of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which aim to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030.
That is why Global Citizen reports on global health, and why you were so invested in these top five stories about health and development.
From large-scale health investments to health-related injustices to the threat of “nightmare bacteria,” here’s what Global Citizens read most about health in 2018.
1. Bill and Melinda Gates Are Paying Off Nigeria’s $76 Million Debt to Japan
Bill and Melinda Gates kicked off 2018 with this great news, so it wasn’t surprising that Global Citizens loved this news story.
Nigeria is very close to eradicating polio — a global priority for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The Japanese government had provided this loan to the country in 2014 for increased polio eradication efforts through their Overseas Development Assistance (ODA).
2. Public Breastfeeding Is Now Legal in All 50 US States
Another good news story was in the top spot for global health news in 2018, as breastfeeding in public was officially declared legal in all 50 states.
Prior to this, women in Idaho and Utah could not nurse in public, so this was a win for health, as well as gender equality.
3. Philippines President Tells Men Not to Use Condoms as HIV Rate Soars 3,000%
HIV cases in the Philippines increased by more than 3,000% over the last decade, despite notable progress made elsewhere in the world. One of the reasons for this is President Rodrigo Duterte’s actions, according to health experts. In February, he actively discouraged condom use.
"I am not joking. Just follow the government programme [on reproductive health]. We have free pills but just avoid condoms, because it is not satisfying," he said.
4. Comedian 'Humiliated' by UK Train Staff After She Was Forced to Leave Disability Space
In July, Tanyalee Davis boarded a Great Western Railway (GWR) train to London Paddington. She settled herself into a wheelchair space, but was told she’d have to move if someone came on with a wheelchair. When a woman came on with a baby and pram, a guard asked Davis to move.
“It was humiliating and I cried for most of the journey home,” Davis said. “I don’t know what it is about this country, but they really make you feel disabled.”
The SDGs aim to reduce inequalities around the world and the improved access, inclusion, and empowerment of people living with a disability are integral components of those goals.
5. A ‘Nightmare Bacteria’ Is Spreading Across the US, CDC Study Finds
These bacteria are immune to most antibiotics, which means that they pose a serious threat to public health.
"Two million Americans get infections from antibiotic resistance, and 23,000 die from those infections each year," Principal Deputy Director of the CDC Anne Schuchat said, which highlights the very real concern of antimicrobial resistance.
Every year, the world gets closer to achieving the SDGs — but more investments and understanding will be needed in 2019 in order to reach those goals by 2030. Join Global Citizen in campaigning on global health and keep taking action.