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Invited Commentary
Health Care Reform
September 2017

Outcomes in South Asia Matter for the World

Author Affiliations
  • 1Comparative Health Systems and Health Financing, Global Health Sciences, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
  • 2Internal Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(9):1306-1307. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2017.3140

South Asia plays a critical role on the global stage. Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan collectively represent almost 30% of the total population living in low- and middle-income countries. Without significant progress in these countries, the world will not be able to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. These 17 global goals were adopted by all countries in 2015 as a United Nations Resolution also known as “The Future We Want.” The goals commit the world to working toward ending poverty, protecting the planet, and ensuring prosperity for all, as part of a new sustainable development agenda. Goal 3 targets good health and well-being for all people and lists a set of subgoals, including achieving universal health coverage (UHC). In the recently published Sustainable Development Goal Index,1 India ranks 110 out of 149 countries, just below Zimbabwe; all other countries noted by Rahman et al2 in this issue of JAMA Internal Medicine, except Nepal (103), rank below India, with Afghanistan at 139.

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