Student Blogs – Health and Education: Critical to Achieving the SDGs

Posted on Posted in Guest Blog

written by:

Health is central to achieving Sustainable Development Goals. Having good health can not
only make a person happier but the world a better place. Sustainable Development Goals#2 (Zero Hunger), #3 (Good health and well-being), and #6 (Clean water and Sanitation)
are most directly aimed at improving human health. While these specifically aim at direct
contributors of health, all of the SDGs are intrinsically reliant on a population with good
health. Health is a crucial component towards cultivating a productive, flourishing
society, and there are many interdependent drivers of good health. By putting more
funding into improving things like health systems, sanitation and hygiene, and increased
access to physicians, more lives can be saved and improve the overall quality of life for

“Concerted efforts are required to achieve universal health
coverage and sustainable financing for health; address the
growing burden of zoonotic and non-communicable diseases,
tackle antimicrobial resistance and environmental factors
contributing to ill health.” – United Nations

Solutions that ensure the improvement of the health of a population include improving
and widening health care access. For example, Health insurance facilitates access to care
is linked to “lower death rates, better health outcomes, and improved productivity”. By
putting funding towards coverage programs, more individuals will have access to quality
healthcare and have the opportunity to live a more healthy and productive life. When a
large portion of the global population is not covered by essential health services, access to
treatment and aid is limited and the health of people suffers.

Environmental factors are another issue that must be tackled. The increasing toxin load
present in the water we drink, air we breathe, and soil where we grow our food is
detrimentally affecting the health of our society. Creating and enforcing stricter
regulations surrounding environmental health is a method of promoting human health.
There is also a correlation between health and the economy. Healthy people can foster a
healthy economy. For example, a healthy population is more likely to be able to bounce
back from various circumstances. In 2017 The BCBS Health Index, which shows how over
300 health conditions affect americans “longevity and quality of life,” showed that
healthier counties had $3,734 higher per capita income, $5,302 higher average annual
pay, $9,839 higher GDP per capita, and 0.6% lower unemployment rates.2 Overall health
is central to achieving sustainable development goals. Health can improve not only the
economy, but people’s overall well-being and quality of life.

Education is extremely important in helping countries reach their SDGs. The goal of it is to
ensure inclusive and quality education to promote lifelong learning which, when achieved,
help individuals break from the cycle of poverty. Education helps reduce inequalities and
also remedies gender equality, as long as girls have equal opportunity to obtain an

Using data for 114 countries in the 1985-2005 period, one extra year of education is
associated with a reduction of the Gini coefficient by 1.4 percentage points.3 Enrollment
in primary education in developing countries has also reached 91%, showing the clear
focus and success that has been made in this area. A strong education system can help
people access opportunities and improve their health, as well as strengthen communities’
resilience. It can also help them develop the skills they need to succeed in the new
sustainable economy. For instance, by equipping people with the necessary skills to work
in areas such as renewable energy and forest rehabilitation, they can help improve the
quality of life in their communities.

Education can also help people develop a fundamental shift in how they think and act
toward the planet. While new policies and financial incentives are needed to create new
ways of consuming and producing, they cannot completely reshape people’s value
systems to support sustainable development. Despite the current state of the
environment, schools can still help people develop the skills they need to succeed in the
new sustainable economy. Two organizations called the UNFCCC and UNESCO paved
the way so schools can now provide climate-change education. They are also helping
teachers develop the necessary skills to teach this subject through online courses. Over
14 million students and over 1.2 million teachers have already participated in this type of
learning, and over 550 business schools have signed up to a global compact calling for
responsible management education.

Education is vital in achieving SDGs. Education can improve one’s life significantly. For
instance, those with formal education can work for higher paying jobs. In wage jobs,
people with higher education levels receive more pay as a reward for their greater
production. An increase in wage earnings of 10% is typically correlated with one year of
education. Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest educational returns, demonstrating the
importance of funding education in the area5. Education is essential to ending chronic
poverty. Poverty is a temporary state for some people. However, those who are
more susceptible to poverty tend to stay that way for longer periods of time,
sometimes even their entire lives, passing it on to their kids. Chronic poverty can be
significantly reduced by education. Since 1995, Ethiopia has decreased poverty by
half. It has helped to raise education levels, which are especially low in rural areas.
For instance, between 1994 and 2009, the likelihood of chronic poverty was 16%
lower in rural households where the family head had finished primary education.⁵ In
order to educate people and resolve the issues we have in this world we have to
provide everyone with the right resources. There are many places in this world
where people aren’t receiving education and that needs to change. More schools
need to be built, improve our education system, and use technology to our
advantage. The more knowledge that can be passed on, the better. It empowers
people everywhere to live more health and sustainable lives. It helps foster tolerance
between people who aren’t similar and contributes to more peaceful societies. Education
can truly speed up the process in achieving all of the SDGs.

Work Cited
(1) Health – United Nations Sustainable Development. (n.d.). Retrieved October 26, 2022,
(2) BCBS Health index. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2022, from
(3) Sustainable development goal – united nations. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2022, from
(4) Bokova, I. (2015, May 19). Why education is the key to sustainable development. World
Economic Forum. Retrieved October 31, 2022, from
(5) Begins with education – Sustainable Development. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2022,
(6) Report: The Importance of Health Coverage: AHA. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2022,
(7) Healthy communities mean a better economy. (2017, January 17). Retrieved October 25,
2022, from
(8) BCBS Health index. (n.d.). Retrieved October 25, 2022, from