12 November 2018

#SDGsinAcademia - SDG Hub for Goal 3

As part of the ongoing campaign on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) carried out by the United Nations, the United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) series #SDGSinAcademia profiles the new SDG Hubs for each one of the Goals established in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

12 November 2018 - This week our #SDGsinAcademia series features New Giza University (Egypt), a member institution of United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI), that has been chosen as the SDG Hub for Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

About the Hub:

New Giza University (NGU) is a multidisciplinary private university dedicated to providing a world class university education in the Middle East and North Africa region. NGU has a strong focus on academic excellence and practical knowledge and is focused on building student employability skills by providing on campus job experience in addition to professional development courses, in partnership with leading local and international practitioners.

The institution promotes the idea of students working with the community to understand challenges and come up with innovative solutions. In 2010, NGU launched its initial programs in health sciences (Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry). The School of Medicine focuses on graduating scientifically literate, research informed, patient-centred and socially responsible professionals who can serve the health needs of individuals and communities.

What is this Hub doing about Goal 3? 

NGU uses a Modular Integrated System that provides students with an application for every topic taught, moving studies beyond the theoretical to the practical. This is done through structured teaching and research approaches where students have ongoing opportunities to link between the theories in class to its application with real-life patients. 

Partnerships with different hospitals and medical educational institutions have provided students with opportunities to apply their learning in practical settings. NGU students are required to reflect and present points for development after any internship, visit, or training they receive in partner hospitals or primary health care units. These reflections build their critical and analytical skills that help them create change in health care services. 

Students learn holistic approaches in providing health care services to their patients, and consider their socio-economic background, environment and setting, and educational levels, along with the physical identification of the disease, to better inform their diagnostic process. In addition, students are exposed to the big picture of health care through organizing world health related days that directly link their studies to health care policy locally through Egypt’s 2030 Vision, and internationally through the SDGs.

Moreover, the university has its own teaching hospital with modern facilities, equipment, instruments and research capabilities in various fields, offers various undergraduate programs on health, organizes regular simulations of the World Health Assembly to understand the impact and discussions about the world’s current health challenges and the different perspectives around them, and promotes medical debate clubs for students to research and understand different viewpoints in the medical field.

The institution has also participated in the MENA Health Policy Forum and it takes part in a wide range of health initiatives promoted both in Egypt and abroad.

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The Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018 reviews progress in the third year of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It has an overview that presents highlights of progress and remaining gaps for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), based on the latest available data, and examines some of the interconnections across Goals and targets.

This is part of the overview provided in the Report about Goal 3:

Many more people today are living healthier lives than in the past decade. Nevertheless, people are still suffering needlessly from preventable diseases, and too many are dying prematurely. Overcoming disease and ill health will require concerted and sustained efforts, focusing on population groups and regions that have been neglected.

  • The maternal mortality ratio has declined by 37 per cent since 2000. Nevertheless, in 2015, 303,000 women around the world died due to complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Over the period 2012–2017, almost 80 per cent of live births worldwide occurred with the assistance of skilled health personnel, up from 62 per cent in 2000–2005.
  • Globally, from 2000 to 2016, the under-5 mortality rate dropped by 47 per cent, and the neonatal mortality rate fell by 39 per cent. Over the same period, the total number of under-5 deaths dropped from 9.9 million to 5.6 million.
  • Globally, the incidence of HIV declined from 0.40 to 0.26 per 1,000 uninfected people between 2005 and 2016. For women of reproductive age in sub-Saharan Africa, however, the rate is much higher, at 2.58 per 1,000 uninfected people.
  • Globally, 32 million people died in 2016 due to cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes or chronic respiratory disease. The probability of dying from these causes was about 18 per cent in 2016 for people between 30 and 70 years of age.
  • Globally, almost 12 per cent of the world’s population (over 800 million people) spent at least one tenth of their household budgets to pay for health services in 2010, up from 9.7 per cent in 2000.
  • Available data from 2005 to 2016 indicate that close to 45 per cent of all countries and 90 per cent of least developed countries (LDCs) have less than one physician per 1,000 people, and over 60 per cent have fewer than three nurses or midwives per 1,000 people.

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The following resources provide general information about the SDGs:

  • This is a comprehensive research guide from the UN Library in Geneva listing resources about each one of the Goals, including books and articles (some of which are fully available on line free of charge), UN documents such as resolutions and reports, and additional resources.
  • The SDG Fund has created this online library featuring over 1,000 online publications. The publications are categorized by the Goals they represent, geographical regions and by authors, to facilitate searchability. Each publication also has a short summary attached to it which helps with keyword searches.
  • This selection of tools is an initiative supported by UNDP, UN-HABITAT and the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments, which offers concept notes, papers, case studies, compilation of best practices and guides providing contextual and practical information about the SDGs.
  • This guide, entitled “Getting Started with the Sustainable Development Goals”, is intended for stakeholders and designed by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) to serve as an initial basis for implementing the SDGs.
  • SDSN also developed this guide, entitled “Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities”, to help universities, institutions of higher education and the academic sector in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific to accelerate their contributions to the SDGs by providing practical guidance and examples to inspire further action.

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You can learn more about the SDG Hubs at the UNAI website.  

Is your institution a member of UNAI and conducting activities and initiatives around Goal 3? Contact us at academicimpact@un.org to tell us about your work and let us connect your university with the SDG Hub! Working together we can make the 2030 Agenda a reality!