Continuing with the UN Millennium Goals series, today we are discussing #6. The UN Development Goals (MDGs) which were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. It's comprised of eight international goals that were agreed to by 193 countries aiming to meet the needs of the global poor by 2015.
- Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
This goal is comprised of three targets:
- a) Halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS
- b) Achieve universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment for all who need it by 2010
c) Halt and begin to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases
The target of halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV has been met! New HIV infections declined by 44% between 2001 and 2012. Antiretroviral (ARV) medicines (that suppress and halt HIV progression) were delivered to 9.7 million people in developing regions as well as 900,000 HIV+ pregnant women in 2012. 3.3 million deaths from malaria have been averted and treatment for tuberculosis (TB) has saved 22 million lives.
What's Still to Be Done
Education and awareness around the transmission of HIV/AIDS and condom use among young people remains low. Globally 2.3 million people are newly infected by HIV each year; 1.6 million of those living in sub-Saharan Africa. Drug-resistant TB is a huge challenge. More cases are being diagnosed and reported than before but access to treatment is slow.
Examples and Stories of Progress
The Ministry of Health in Zambia is increasing access to HIV treatment by creating 68 new ARV therapy sites as well as supplying drugs to the already established 454 ARV sties nationwide. The UNDP Global Fund support provided ARV drugs to close to a quarter of a million people in both 2012 and 2013.
Part of the fight against HIV/AIDS involves preventing infected mothers from passing the virus on to their babies. In Ethiopia, 2,000 nurses and midwives are being trained on emergency newborn and obstetric care as well as the prevention of transmission from mother to baby.
2015 and beyond
The post-2015 UN Sustainable Development Goals call for increased health financing and the recruitment of, developing and training of of healthcare workers in developing regions. It's ambitious goal is to end the epidemic of HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria as well as hepatitis, water-borne diseases and communicable diseases.
The official website for the MDG's contains plenty of information and encouraging stories: http://www.un.org/millenniumgoals/
Sarah lives in Northern Ontario with her family. Sarah and her husband have four children, and one grandson. She is an avid reader and learner. In 2012, Sarah launched JustOne with Krista and travelled to Kenya, Uganda and South Africa together. Sarah has a blog we love to read called "Recipe for Messiness" that is about finding beauty amidst our messy lives.