Achieving universal health coverage is at the core of Sustainable Development Goal 3 – ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages. The Countdown to 2030 initiative regularly tracks progress in the countries experiencing the highest burdens of maternal and child mortality. Its 2017 report highlights reductions in maternal and child mortality over the past two decades, but greater efforts are needed to achieve the 2030 goals.
Countdown’s updated 2019 country profiles and dashboards include the latest data available for 139 countries. These data show whether coverage for essential interventions in a given country is accelerating, stagnating, or even reversing. Each dashboard includes data on: demographics, nutrition, coverage for key reproductive, maternal, newborn, adolescent and child health interventions, equity, and policy, systems and financial flows.
- Despite substantial progress in reducing maternal, newborn, and child mortality worldwide, inequities persist. Data show countries in sub-Saharan Africa are lagging most behind.
- Coverage of health interventions is higher for those that are well resourced, can take place at planned times (such as preventive services), and do not depend on a functioning healthcare system.
- The indicators for monitoring progress need to be revised to include proven interventions for older children, adolescents, and adult women.
- Further disaggregation of intervention coverage by equity measures is important to better understand who is being left behind.