India ranks 143rd on a range of health indicators in a list of 188 countries, indicating that the country continues to lag behind other countries in healthcare.
India has placed ahead of Pakistan (149) and Bangladesh (151). India ranked lower to other countries like Bhutan, Botswana, Syria and Sri Lanka owing to poor performance on hygiene, air pollution mortality.
"Despite rapid economic growth, India was ranked 143rd, below Comoros and Ghana," the first annual assessment of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) health performance published in the Lancet and launched at a special event at the UN General Assembly in New York said.
India scored 80 points for performing well in areas like Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) which are a diverse group of communicable diseases, overweight, and harmful alcohol consumption.
Using data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors (GBD) study between 1990 and 2015, Stephen Lim from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues estimated the current status of 33 of the 47 health-related SDG-indicators.
To enable easier comparison, they created a health- related SDG index (with a rating of 0-100) that combines these 33 health-related indicators to measure progress for 188 countries between 1990 and 2015.
"With more than 1,870 individual collaborators in 124 countries and three territories, our independent analysis identifies high and low-performing countries to help guide national policies and donor investments and provides a strong basis for monitoring progress towards the health-related SDGs for 188 countries over the next 15 years," Lim said.
The authors note that the findings are based on available data, estimates, and modeling. They have called for more investment in high-quality data collection systems including censuses and vital registration and health management information systems, to ensure progress towards the SDGs can be properly monitored.
According to the study, over 60 percent of the countries have already met the 2030 targets on reducing maternal (less than 70 deaths per 1,00,000 live births) and child mortality (25 deaths per 1000 live births).
None of the countries have met any of the nine targets on the full elimination of diseases like tuberculosis and HIV, reducing the prevalence of childhood obesity and intimate partner violence. The vision of ending HIV and tuberculosis in the next 15 years in unrealistic said the authors.
"A substantial change in the current trajectory of HIV and tuberculosis incidence will be needed likely requiring major technological leaps coupled with universal delivery to meet this target," the authors said.
Less than a fifth of countries have met the 2030 target to eliminate stunting and wasting in children under five.
"However, in areas beyond the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which came to an end in 2015, few inroads have been made. For example, there have been only minimal improvements in Hepatitis B incidence rates, while childhood overweight, intimate partner violence, and harmful alcohol consumption have worsened," according to the study.