A Global Health Progress Review: The Millennium Development Goals (2010)

In 2000, representatives of the International Community, led by the UN, defined targets to improve the development and economic conditions of low-income countries. Sub-Saharan Africa was a special target region. Substantial reductions in poverty, a primary determinant of health, were perceived to be the core mechanism to promote health and prevent disease among those in greatest need. Through significantly enhanced financial and capacity-building partnerships between high-, middle-, and low-income countries, commitments were made to improve economic growth.

In September 2000, leadership from 189 countries defined eight Millenium Development Goals (MDGs): (1) eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; (2) achieve universal primary education; (3) promote equality and empower women; (4) reduce child mortality; (5) improve maternal health; (6) combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases; (7) ensure environmental sustainability; and (8) develop a global development partnership. A set of 18 targets and 48 progress indicators were used to monitor progress. Four new targets were added in 2007. The MDG Report 2014-2015 is available at mdgs.un.org. Excerpts and examples of progress from the most recent MDG Report are presented in Table 1.6.

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