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NZ 30th in global health study

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 21/09/2016

New Zealand has ranked 30th among 188 countries in a study assessing performance in meeting sustainable development goals related to health.

The United Nations set the goals in 2015 to track a range of pressing problems to 2030.

In their comparison of countries, Professor Stephen Lim from the University of Washington and colleagues created a rating from 0 to 100 for 33 health-related indicators.

New Zealand finished with an overall score of 74, while Iceland was first with 85, followed by Singapore and Sweden. Australia was 10th on 81.

Bottom of the table was the Central African Republic with 20.

New Zealand scored top marks in eight of the categories, including water quality, sanitation, household air pollution and deaths from war.

Its lowest score, 21, related to exposure to natural disasters, while its next worst mark was 53 for both prevalence of overweight pre-schoolers and the suicide rate.

The study, published in the Lancet, is the first annual assessment of sustainable development goals health performance and was launched at the UN General Assembly in New York.

The authors say good progress has been made worldwide in meeting some of the goals since 2000. However, childhood obesity, partner violence and harmful alcohol consumption have worsened.

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