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Sustainable Development Goals

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 25 November 2021

Thursday, 25 November 2021

Questions (359)

Róisín Shortall


359. Deputy Róisín Shortall asked the Minister for Health if he will outline the State’s progress in respect of its targets and goals set out in Sustainable Development Goal 3 of the 2030 United Nations Agenda for Sustainable Development; if these targets and goals will to be met by their respective deadlines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [58224/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The Department of Health's Statement of Strategy 2021-2023 states the Department's commitment to work with the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications and relevant partners in order to achieve the relevant Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) targets as set out in the Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan 2018-2020.

Ireland’s Sustainable Development Goals National Implementation Plan, 2018-2020, sets out the Government’s ambitious response to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and commits Ireland to fully achieving all 17 of the Goals by 2030. This Department will continue to work with the Department of Environment, Climate and Communications and relevant partners in order to achieve the relevant SDG targets, with a focus on SDG3, Good Health and Wellbeing.

In relation to the indicators under SDG3 the following, according to the 2020 CSO report, is an update on each:

SDG 3.1.1 Maternal Mortality Ratio

Over the period 1997 to 2019, the maternal death rate has varied from a high of 6.2 in 2016 to zero in 2003, 2006, 2018 and 2019.

SDG 3.1.2 Proportion of Births Attended by Skilled Health Personnel

All births in Ireland in 2015 were attended by skilled health personnel. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) there was an estimated 18,155 midwives licensed to practice in Ireland in 2016 and 18,051 in 2017. This represented a density of 3.8 per 1,000 population. The number of midwives per 1,000 live births was 284.4 in 2016 and 292 in 2017.

SDG 3.2.1 Under-Five Mortality Rate

The mortality rate for under-fives in Ireland nearly halved between 2008 and 2018, falling from a rate of 111.2 to 64.6 per 100,000 population.

SDG 3.2.2 Neonatal Mortality Rate

The neonatal mortality rate was 2.3 in 2017. This is the number of deaths of infants (aged under 28 days) per 1,000 live births.

SDG 3.3 COVID-19 Communicable Disease

The current cases and mortality rates are for Covid-19 are available on the Covid-19 data hub.

SDG 3.3.1 Number of New HIV Infections per 1,000 Uninfected Population

There were 523 people diagnosed with HIV in Ireland 2018. Just over seven in ten of these people lived in the East region, based on the HSE area of residence. Less than 2% of people who were diagnosed with HIV lived in the Midland or North-West regions. The number of people living with HIV rose from 4,787 in 2010 to 7,529 in 2019, an increase of 57%. The number of deaths from AIDS dropped from 21 in 2011 to 14 by 2019.

SDG 3.3.2 Tuberculosis Incidence

There were 267 TB notifications in Ireland in 2019. Four in ten of these TB notifications were in the East region, (based on the HSE Area of Residence), while two in ten were in the South-East.

SDG 3.3.3 Malaria Incidence

There were 81 cases of malaria in 2019. Between 2010 and 2019 the number of cases of malaria ranged from a high of 88 in 2016 to a low of just 59 in 2018. Just over a quarter of malaria cases were aged 35-44 years in 2016, with just under a quarter aged 25-34 years.

SDG 3.3.4 Hepatitis B Incidence

The number of cases of Hepatitis B in Ireland dropped from 639 to 546 between 2010 and 2019. The rate of Hepatitis B in Ireland per 100,000 population dropped from 13.9 to 10.4 between 2010 and 2018.

SDG 3.3.5 Number of People Requiring Interventions Against Neglected Tropical Diseases

In each year between 2010 and 2015 there was either one case or zero cases of people in Ireland requiring interventions against a neglected tropical disease. In 2016, there were 20 people in Ireland who required an intervention against a neglected tropical diseases. This number dropped to 10 in 2017 and to zero in 2018.

SDG 3.4.1 Mortality Rate Attributed to Cardiovascular Disease, Cancer, Diabetes or Chronic Respiratory Disease

The standardised death rate from neoplasms per 1,000 population rose from 1.83 to 1.93 between 2010 and 2018. Over this time period, the death rate from diseases of the circulatory system fell from 2.11 to 1.88. The death rate for diseases of the respiratory system rose from 0.72 to 0.87 between 2010 and 2018, while the rate for external causes of injury and poisoning fell from 0.36 to 0.28.

SDG 3.4.2 Suicide Mortality Rate

The overall rate of suicides has reduced by 42% between 2011 and 2020 and is now below the EU average. The 2020 figure is provisional and excludes late registrations.

The Government is determined to reduce the incidence of suicide in Ireland. Last November, it extended Connecting for Life by four years to 2024. We will continue to do all we can to reduce suicide and incidents of self-harm across Ireland.

SDG 3.5.1 Coverage of Treatment Interventions (Pharmacological, Psychosocial and Rehabilitation and Aftercare Services) for Substance Use Disorders

There were 10,274 treatment interventions for substance use disorders involving drugs in 2018, a 17% increase from 8,806 in 2010.

SDG 3.5.2 Harmful Use of Alcohol, Defined According to the National Context as Alcohol per Capita Consumption (Aged 15 Years and Older) Within a Calendar Year in Litres of Pure Alcohol

Alcohol consumption in Ireland almost trebled over four decades between 1960 (4.9 litres of pure alcohol per capita) and 2000 (14.1 litres of pure alcohol per capita), as alcohol became much more affordable and more widely available. Since then, our alcohol consumption has declined by 19.6%, from a peak of 14.3 litres of pure alcohol per capita in 2001, to 11.0 litres in 2018.

SDG 3.6.1 Death Rate Due to Road Traffic Injuries

The number of deaths due to road traffic accidents fell from 192 in 2014 to 148 in 2019, a drop of 23%

SDG 3.7.2 Adolescent Birth Rate (Aged 10-14 Years; Aged 15-19 Years) per 1,000 Women in that Age Group

The number of births to women aged under 20 years fell by more than half between 2010 and 2018, falling from 2,043 to 980.

SDG 3.8.1 Coverage of Essential Health Services

- The number of medical cards rose from 1,478,560 in 2009 to 1,574,507 in 2018, an increase of 6.5%. In 2018, nearly one third (32.4%) of the population had a medical card.

- The number of GP visit cards in 2018 at 503,650 was more than four times higher than the number in 2009 of 98,325. One in ten people had a GP visit card in 2018.

- The number of people on the drugs payment scheme dropped from 1,587,448 in 2009 to 1,290,634 in 2018, a drop of 24%.

- By 2018 just over a quarter (26.6%) of the population were in the drugs payment scheme.

- There was an increase of 20% in the number of people on the long-term illness scheme between 2009 and 2018, with the numbers rising from 127,636 to 281,075.

SDG 3.8.2 Proportion of Population with Large Household Expenditures on Health

Medical expenses were 2.2% of average weekly household expenditure in Ireland in 2015, and this proportion varied from 1.9% in the Border to 2.7% in the West.

SDG 3.9.1 Mortality Rate Attributed to Household and Ambient Air Pollution

Premature deaths attributed to PM2.5, NO2 and O3 exposure are 1,100,50 and 30, respectively, in 2016.

SDG 3.9.2 Mortality Rate Attributed to Unsafe Water, Unsafe Sanitation and Lack of Hygiene

The mortality rate from unsafe water, unsafe sanitation and lack of hygiene was very low at 0.1 per 1,000 population in Ireland in 2016

SDG 3.9.3 Mortality Rate Attributed to Unintentional Poisoning

There were 274 deaths from unintentional poisoning in 2018, which gave a rate of 5.8 per 100,000 population. Seven in ten deaths from unintentional poisoning were males. Nearly half of all the deaths from unintentional poisoning were aged 25-44 years

SDG 3.a.1 Age-Standardized Prevalence of Current Tobacco Use Among Persons Aged 15 Years and Older

The prevalence of smoking fell from 23% to 17% between 2015 and 2019 among all people aged 15 and over

SDG 3.b.1 Proportion of the Target Population Covered by all Vaccines Included in Their National Programme

Detailed data available from HPSC – overall MenC2 lowest uptake 86.7% and 94.5% highest (polio, diphtheria, whooping cough)

SDG 3.b.3 Proportion of Health Facilities that have a Core Set of Relevant Essential Medicines Available and Affordable on a Sustainable Basis

Sláintecare policy

SDG 3.c.1 Health Worker Density and Distribution

The number of people employed in the public health service rose from 110,259 to 119,127 between 2016 and 2019, an increase of 8%. There were 24.2 public health service personnel per 1,000 population in 2019. The largest category of people employed in the public health service in 2019 was nursing at 31.8%, followed by other patient and client care at 21.5% and management/administration at 15.8%.

SDG 3.d.1 International Health Regulations (IHR) Capacity and Health Emergency Preparedness

In 2018, Ireland's IHR capacity was 100% (fully meets the essential public health capacity that countries are required to have) for 3 core capacities: Food Safety, Laboratory and Risk Communication. Legislation and Financing was 40% prepared for an emergency, which was the lowest score in 2018.