A new agenda for Health: the Millennium Development Goals present health as both an outcome and a determinant of countries' development. As such, they give public health advocates a valuable new opportunity to promote their cause.The Millennium Development Goals “MDG” redirects here. For other uses, see MDG (disambiguation).
The Millennium Development Goals are eight goals that 192 United Nations member states have agreed to try to achieve by the year 2015. have defined a new roadmap for global development that defines health as both a destination and a point of departure. Three of the eight goals refer explicitly to health issues, while seven of the 18 more specific targets fall directly within the responsibility of the health sector (see box p. 11). This emphasis reflects a new global consensus that health is not only an outcome of development but also one of its core determinants.
The idea is not new. It was part of the call for "Health for All" made at the First International Conference on Primary Health Care at Alma Ata 25 years ago. But today the millennium goals, with their broad base of international support, provide the public health community with a new and invaluable point of entry for advocating their cause.
With their emphasis on equity, the Millennium Development Goals have special significance for the Americas, the world's most unequal region. The inequities and gaps in our region's development often find their starkest expression in health status. Throughout the region, the means to better health exist, but they are largely out of reach for the poorest and most vulnerable groups. For Latin America Latin America, the Spanish-speaking, Portuguese-speaking, and French-speaking countries (except Canada) of North America, South America, Central America, and the West Indies. and the Caribbean, the millennium goals provide an opportunity to join efforts in a concerted approach that recognizes health as a regional public good to be shared by all the countries and all their peoples.
Heads of state and other leaders have promised, at successive Summits of the Americas and other fora, to increase investments in health and social protection. Yet strengthening the region's commitment to the millennium goals remains a major challenge. A recent analysis by the United Nations Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean concluded that no country in the region is on track to reach all of the millennium targets by 2015. Some, such as Bolivia, could well see increased inequity, while others, such as Nicaragua, are lagging well behind on poverty reduction. No country seems set to reach two key health targets: improving infant and maternal mortality.
Making progress toward the millennium goals in health in the Americas requires concerted action in three key areas. Countries must reduce inequities through targeted interventions, increase investment in health and health systems, and develop partnerships for health development. These imperatives form the backbone of the Pan American Health American Health Inc. is a company that manufactures health supplements. It is located in Holbrook, New York. One of its products is labeled the "Chewable Original Papaya Enzyme" with the attached registered trademark, "The 'After Meal Supplement'". Organization's strategy for helping its member countries progress toward the millennium goals.
For its own technical cooperation efforts, PAHO PAHO Pan American Health Organization (WHO) has designated five priority countries: Bolivia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, and Nicaragua. These countries rank the lowest in the region in terms of life expectancy Life Expectancy
1. The age until which a person is expected to live.
2. The remaining number of years an individual is expected to live, based on IRS issued life expectancy tables. and per capita income Noun 1. per capita income - the total national income divided by the number of people in the nation
income - the financial gain (earned or unearned) accruing over a given period of time , and most of them fall well below the regional average on measures including the percentage of physician-attended births and the number of physicians per 1,000 inhabitants
The game is based loosely on the concepts from SameGame. . In Bolivia, there are only 1.3 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants, and in Haiti, only 0.2. According to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the 2004 World Health Report, life expectancy in Haiti fell from 57 in 1993 to 50 years in 2002, primarily as a result of AIDS. Maternal mortality rates maternal mortality rate Epidemiology The number of pregnancy-related deaths/100,000 ♀ of reproductive age; the number of maternal deaths related to childbearing divided by number of live births–or number of live births + fetal deaths/yr. in the five countries are comparable to rates in the 1930s and 1940s in the United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. .
Yet a country focus is not enough. Many of the region's health inequities are based on geography, ethnic origin, gender and socioeconomic status socioeconomic status,
n the position of an individual on a socio-economic scale that measures such factors as education, income, type of occupation, place of residence, and in some populations, ethnicity and religion. . The huge disparities cannot be resolved by aggregate economic growth alone but will require targeted interventions. Research consistently shows that even small reductions in inequality can have large impacts on poverty reduction. This calls for policies and actions that target the rural poor in neglected regions as well as marginal urban groups, such as unemployed youths and female-headed households.
Successful examples of ways to address these challenges can be found throughout the region. But scaling these up can be achieved only with additional aid. A recent discussion paper by the World Health Organization argues that even in a context of faster economic growth, many countries will be able to reach the health and nutrition goals only with specially funded efforts to improve the coverage and quality of health and nutrition services.
The Millennium Development Goals provide a unique opportunity to promote increased financing of health, by giving new legitimacy and urgency to the need to invest in people. By underlining health as a key determinant of development, they provide public health advocates with new inroads inroads
make inroads into to start affecting or reducing: my gambling has made great inroads into my savings
inroads npl to make inroads into [+ to ministries of finance, planning and development. In terms of both policy and financing, the millennium goals can help get health on the agenda of economic and social development strategies, loan projects and negotiations with donors.
This is critically important. In recent decades the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean have instituted broad-reaching health reforms that in some cases have weakened public health systems and reduced access to primary health care. Making up for these losses by investing in the health sector is crucial if the region is to make progress on the specific millennium goals.
In their call for a "global partnership for development" and their intersectoral approach, the millennium goals also provide new opportunities for public and private organizations to work on a common agenda with new partners. In Latin America and the Caribbean, these include ministries of health, education and the environment, as well as nongovernmental organizations Transnational organizations of private citizens that maintain a consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. Nongovernmental organizations may be professional associations, foundations, multinational businesses, or simply groups with a common interest in and international agencies such as PAHO, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNDP Unión Nacional para la Democracia y el Progreso (National Union for Democracy and Progress) ), the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)
international organization founded in 1959 by 20 governments in North and South America to finance economic and social development in the Western Hemisphere. . A particular challenge for PAHO is to help strengthen the role of health in strategies for poverty reduction and to develop more integrated approaches to technical cooperation.
One of the chief objectives of the Millennium Development Goals is to encourage transparency and accountability in government and to foster democratic participation. Indeed, one reason for keeping the goals simple and straightforward was to allow ordinary people to be part of the process. The 2003 UNDP Human Development Report proposed that the millennium goals be posted on the door of every village hall. Ideally, communities at all levels should be involved in setting national goals and strategies as well as in monitoring and debating governments' performance on the basis of empirical data.
One of the key challenges for the public health sector will be to find ways of improving public confidence in public institutions. Organizations such as PAHO can contribute to this task by working with legislators and other leaders at the regional, local and community levels and by seeking new ways to work with the private sector and civil society organizations involved in health. One important message to get across is that it is a sign of true democracy when citizens' access to primary health care does not depend upon their ability to pay.
The millennium goals in health require PAHO and its member countries to concentrate on three other areas: improving health systems, strengthening essential public health functions, and further developing human resources The fancy word for "people." The human resources department within an organization, years ago known as the "personnel department," manages the administrative aspects of the employees. in the health sector. A key challenge for PAHO is to support its member countries in developing an integrated approach to these tasks, building on its work in such areas as maternal and child health and infectious diseases infectious diseases: see communicable diseases. , as well as health systems development and social protection. All parties who have responsibilities in these areas must be involved.
Achieving the millennium health goals will also require better epidemiologic and socioeconomic information analysis. This area is still hampered by the varied sources of statistical information, a lack of harmonization har·mo·nize
v. har·mo·nized, har·mo·niz·ing, har·mo·niz·es
1. To bring or come into agreement or harmony. See Synonyms at agree.
2. Music To provide harmony for (a melody). , and disaggregation dis·ag·gre·ga·tion
1. A breaking up into component parts.
2. An inability to coordinate various sensations and a failure to observe their mutual relations. of data. For example, in its Human Development Report for 2003, the UNDP reports that under-5 mortality in Latin America and the Caribbean was reduced from 56 per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 35 per 1,000 in 2001. Extrapolating from this trend, the region could be expected to achieve and surpass Goal 2 by 2015. Using data from the United Nations Division of Population, PAHO has reached a different, less optimistic conclusion, which has significant policy implications.
Finally, the region's health and social sectors must work efficiently. Although most countries in Latin America and the Caribbean increased social spending as a percentage of GDP GDP (guanosine diphosphate): see guanine. during the 1990s, these increases did not produce the expected results. The lesson here is that countries must not only increase spending in the health sector and on specific programs but also do a better job of assessing which mix of allocations produces the most cost-effective interventions and the greatest reductions in inequities.
Every country in the region faces its own special challenges in the pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals, in regard to health as well as other issues. Yet all would benefit from a policy framework that includes a commitment to universal access to health care and to strengthening the essential public health functions of the state.
Some of the millennium goals may be easier to achieve than others, but to fulfill the overarching goal of reducing inequities, countries must strive to reach beyond the minimum millennium targets, which are based on national averages. They must be willing to "raise the bar." This is a historic task that will require unprecedented political commitment, leadership, innovation and creativity. It requires the region of the Americas to muster the necessary will and resources to ensure that health makes its proper contribution to social cohesion, poverty reduction and better quality of life.
Millennium health targets
Goals and targets
Goal 1 Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Target 2: Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger
Goal 2 Achieve universal primary education
Goal 3 Promote gender equality and empower women
Goal 4 Reduce child mortality
Target 5: Reduce by two-thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-5 mortality rate
Goal 5 Improve maternal health Maternal health care is a concept that encompasses preconception, prenatal, and postnatal care. Goals of preconception care can include providing health promotion, screening and interventions for women of reproductive age to reduce risk factors that might affect future pregnancies. Target 6: Reduce by three-quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio maternal mortality ratio Epidemiology The number of pregnancy-related deaths/100,000 live births. Cf Maternal mortality rate.
Goal 6 Combat HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome , malaria, and other diseases
Target 7: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
Target 8: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
Goal 7 Ensure environmental sustainability
Target 10: Halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water drinking water
supply of water available to animals for drinking supplied via nipples, in troughs, dams, ponds and larger natural water sources; an insufficient supply leads to dehydration; it can be the source of infection, e.g. leptospirosis, salmonellosis, or of poisoning, e.g. and basic sanitation
Goal 8 Develop a global partnership for development
Target 17: In cooperation with pharmaceutical companies, provide access to affordable, essential drugs in developing countries
4. Prevalence of underweight Underweight
An situation where a portfolio does not hold a sufficient amount of securities to satisfy the accepted benchmark of the portfolio's asset allocation strategy.
Notes: in children (under 5 years of age)
5. Proportion of population below minimum level of dietary energy consumption
13. Under-5 mortality rate
14. Infant mortality rate infant mortality rate
The ratio of the number of deaths in the first year of life to the number of live births occurring in the same population during the same period of time.
15. Proportion of 1-year-old children immunized against measles
16. Maternal mortality ratio
17. Proportion of births attended by skilled health personnel
18. HIV HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), either of two closely related retroviruses that invade T-helper lymphocytes and are responsible for AIDS. There are two types of HIV: HIV-1 and HIV-2. HIV-1 is responsible for the vast majority of AIDS in the United States. prevalence among 15- to 24-year-old pregnant women
19. Condom use rate of the contraceptive prevalence rate
19a. Condom use at last high-risk sex high-risk sex Safe sex practices, see there
19b. Percentage of population aged 15-24 with comprehensive correct knowledge of HIV/AIDS
19c. Contraceptive prevalence rate
20. Ratio of school attendance of orphans to school attendance of non-orphans aged 10-14
21. Prevalence and death rates associated with malaria
22. Proportion of population in malaria-risk areas using effective malaria prevention and treatment measures
23. Prevalence and death rates associated with tuberculosis
24. Proportion of tuberculosis cases detected and cured under directly observed treatment Directly Observed Treatment (DOT) or Directly Observed Therapy is watching the patient take his/her medication to ensure medications are taken in the right combination and for the correct duration. short course (DOTS)
30. Proportion of population with sustainable access to an improved water source, urban and rural
31. Proportion of population with access to improved sanitation
46. Proportion of population with access to affordable, essential drugs on a sustainable basis
Achieving the goals
The Pan American Health Organization The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is an international public health agency with 100 years of experience in working to improve health and living standards of the countries of the Americas. It serves as the specialized organization for health of the Inter-American System. (PAHO) is working with its 35 Member States and other partners to help Latin America and the Caribbean achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Its work in this area is based on eight main lines of action:
* Advocacy among a wide range of audiences
* Health policy initiatives
* Technical cooperation with countries to reach the goals
* Integration of the millennium goals into other health initiatives
* Partnerships with other organizations and institutions
* Empowerment of communities
* Monitoring of progress toward the goals
* Research to generate new knowledge on health and development
Ilona Kickbusch is special advisor to the Pan American Health Organization on the Millennium Development Goals. She is on leave from Yale University Yale University, at New Haven, Conn.; coeducational. Chartered as a collegiate school for men in 1701 largely as a result of the efforts of James Pierpont, it opened at Killingworth (now Clinton) in 1702, moved (1707) to Saybrook (now Old Saybrook), and in 1716 was , where she is professor and head of the Division of Global Health in the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, School of Medicine.