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The sustainable development goals. Photo credit: Flickr, Reedz Malik.
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By Mari√ętte Le Roux

Paris (AFP) - The world has made progress in curbing infant mortality, stunted growth and other poverty-driven problems, while obesity, alcohol abuse and partner violence has risen, a major review of UN health goals said Wednesday.

"Progress varied widely," said The Lancet medical journal which published the assessment of 188 countries' progress since 1990, measured against the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

On the positive side, nearly two-thirds of countries have already met the 2030 targets of reducing maternal and child mortality, it said.

But not a single country had met any target on eliminating tuberculosis and viruses like HIV, or reducing weight problems in childhood and partner violence.

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Rich countries, too, had their problems, the researchers found -- listing inter-personal violence, self-inflicted harm, ambient air pollution and childhood obesity.

There "does appear to be a point where the positive effects of higher incomes stop having positive health effects," review coordinator Christopher Murray of the University of Washington told AFP.

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