Topical: Good Health and Wellbeing

SDG 3 aspires to ensure health and wellbeing for all. This includes a commitment to end the epidemics of Aids, tuberculosis, malaria and other communicable diseases by 2030. It also aims to reduce maternal mortality and end preventable deaths of newborns, achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and effective medicines and vaccines for all. Part of this Goal is an intention to strengthen the prevention and treatment of substance and alcohol abuse. Supporting research and development for vaccines, as well as expanding access to affordable medicines, is an essential part of the process of addressing this Goal.

Providing consistent, quality healthcare is a complex challenge that requires concerted effort from government, civil society, the private sector and individuals working together. It is also important to recognise that health is related to poverty; it is connected to the conditions in which people are born, live and work, making poorer groups even more vulnerable.

A healthy population and workforce is both a prerequisite for economic development and a result of economic growth.

Realising this Goal will entail enabling access to safe, effective, quality and essential healthcare services, vaccines and medicines. This can include access to financial services and risk protection, opening up wider opportunities for companies in those sectors to contribute. It also means strengthening the capacity of individuals and communities for mitigation and management of health risks. An integrated investment in early childhood development, nutrition, health and education can also contribute to addressing this challenge.

This Goal presents much opportunity for companies in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals sectors to incorporate greater access to quality healthcare into their core business models. However, all companies can begin to address this Goal by ensuring the health and wellbeing of their own employees. Businesses that actively promote and organise employee wellness schemes, preventive health screenings and health training programmes, and ensure access to comprehensive medical aid cover are already on the path to ensuring better health of the population. 

Business in Society Handbook, 2016