Global Health and the Sustainable Development Goals

Adrienne Kinman



It is in the nature of Global Health to attempt to conquer tasks of monumental proportion. It comes along with the immensity of the questions we answer and the problems we solve. I want to bring attention to an important task that is nothing short of monumental—the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s).

The SDGs are an initiative by the United Nations for their 2030 agenda. They consist of 17 aspirational global goals to be achieved by the year 2030. These 17 goals cover a vast array of socioeconomic, equality, health and environmental issues ranging from ending poverty and hunger, to promoting good health, education, clean water and a healthy environment.

There are many ways in which we can help reach these goals here at McGill. We need sharp, interdisciplinary, global health-wired brains to reach these seemingly insurmountable but immensely critical goals. These goals affect every crevice of the field of Global Health from the effects of poverty, hunger, gender equality, access to health care and clean water. Many of these goals seem pervasive and daunting; for instance, goal Number 1 is to completely eradicate poverty in all its forms, everywhere. The United Nations is clearly an ambitious group. I argue however, that it is ambitious goals like these that will keep us constantly striving for growth and progress.

Lucky for us, these 17 colossal goals are accompanied by 193 targets which detail more specific sub-goals essential for achieving the larger goal at hand. For example, goal Number 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all. Two of the targets include reducing the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70/100,000 births and to half the number of injuries and deaths from traffic accidents. These targets are comparatively more specific and tangible.

I believe that everyone should pick a target and find a way, no matter how small, to help us meet these goals. Many align with our current areas of study or research at McGill, and as leaders in this area, it is vital that we share our knowledge, ideas, and enthusiasm. Through this help and ambition, when the year 2030 rolls around, we will be that much closer to a more equal, healthy and prosperous world and these vast goals may not seem so insurmountable.

Click here to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals!


Adrienne is a U3 psychology student with minors in biology and behavioural science. She is drawn by the multidisciplinary nature of global health and its ability to pull from many fields to solve vast and often borderless problems. Her interests include emphasizing on improved treatments for both neurological and mental disorders.