The sustainable development of small island developing States is intricately connected to the proper health of their populace. Countries with small populations and limited skilled workforces are particularly vulnerable to the burden of disease due to the impact on the level of productivity and the toll on the social sector. The health services available to SIDS have a vital role to play in sustainable development by reducing the disease burden. As highlighted in the MSI, cooperation, and experience sharing among the SIDS is essential and should be prioritized to the end of mitigating the incidence and effects of nutritional disorders, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, as well as other new and emerging communicable and non-communicable diseases. Furthermore, the environmental causes of ill health must not be neglected. As such, the control and prevention of waste and pollution are exceptionally vital due to the sensitive ecosystems of SIDS. The basic principles and specific actions that are required at the national, regional and international levels to support sustainable development in small island developing States in the area of health are outlined in Chapter 17 of the MSI.

Thirty-eight SIDS have accepted the constitution of the World Health Organisation and thirty SIDS have country programs via The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.