Health and Living Conditions in Maldives

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages is a development goal set by the United Nations for the whole world. It is believed that any social, economic, or political problem weighs a lot less than the health of humanity. Most of the countries try to implement this goal in their country by trying to develop in the areas of health, education, gender, water and sanitation, energy, infrastructure, climate change, and marine resources. The Republic of Maldives, although it is a small island, faces many challenges in balancing economic conditions or dealing with environmental defects. Despite these challenges, they have made significant progress in many development goals such as eradicating poverty or achieving universal healthcare. However, still, additional efforts are needed for further promotion of these goals.

The country’s geography creates unique challenges for economic development and social stability. Especially its vulnerability to climate change as an island country and extreme weather events, especially those related to ocean overflowing or tsunamis, remained as the country’s number one priority concern. An increase in beach erosions and flooding, not only harmed the natural environment of the country but also left the country alone with heavily needed economic investments to fix those areas. Furthermore, many people living in areas near the incident places had seen the damage to their households and this most of the time disrupted the social order of the country. As a dispersed island, it poses difficulties in providing necessary supplies and equipment for their country. Even when they do assure quality service, it results in a considerably high cost to the government. Considering this huge link of the economy and social well-being to natural disasters and geographical problems, the sustainable management of these resources has been a key priority of the government.

Graph 1: Maternal Mortality Rate in Maldives (reported in 2016)

The health conditions of Maldivian people have dramatically improved in the past few decades. This could be demonstrated by the decreasing maternal mortality rate. The decrease in their mortality rates was largely due to the provision of universal healthcare all over the country. The Maldives expanded their reach of pharmacies and hospitals. They also recruited many medical personnel who also played a significant role in the cure of devastating diseases such as malaria. After all of these efforts, the Republic of Maldives was able to eliminate problematic diseases like lymphatic filariasis, and measles. Furthermore, currently, they are trying to tackle HIV/AIDS, dengue while also focusing on non-communicable diseases such as cancer and mental health. Bacterial diseases are not the only factors affecting one’s good health and well-being. The country also encourages its citizens to avoid tobacco or drug use, unhealthy diet, obesity, child malnutrition, and inadequate physical activity. They try to implement healthy lifestyle ideas especially to children in schools to ensure further development in these areas. One last significant action taken by the country is to give young people some special attention. Adolescents could need some more holistic approach and help, especially between the ages of 12 to 18. Therefore, the country provides access to some reproductive health services about the issues of sexual or gender-based violence, sexual diversity, discrimination, and relationship issues.

Despite the further need to enhance the local capacity for the Maldivian health sector, the country acknowledges that the citizens are the main actors in this long-term film of development; first as a country, then as the whole world. They contact many agencies and NGOs in the country to empower and catalyze action on the ground. Ongoing efforts are targeted towards mainstreaming the goals by creating awareness. It is recommended for the country to identify national priorities and develop a monitoring framework accordingly. All the data provided by the United Nations demonstrates that the Republic of Maldives is determined to take the necessary steps to achieve the targets of the seventeen sustainable development goals set by the United Nations until 2030.

CITATIONS

Goals Division, Sustainable Development, and Ministry of Environment and Energy. “Voluntary National Review for the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2017.” United Nations, 2017, sustainabledevelopment.un.org/content/documents/15891Maldives.pdf. 

Health, Ministry of. “Maldives Health Profile 2016.” Ministry of Health: Republic of Maldives, 2016, health.gov.mv/Uploads/Downloads/Informations/Informations(73).pdf. 

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