NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Child Health Targets Not Met

January 28, 2004

Fewer than one-in-five developing countries are on track to meet United Nations' targets for sharply reducing child and maternal mortality by 2015, the World Health Organization and the World Bank warn.

The targets are part of the "Millennium Development Goals," set by the United Nations in 2000, which call for the death rate for under-fives to be cut by two-thirds and for a 75 percent reduction in maternal deaths.

According the World Bank, progress on these goals has been so slow that no-sub-Saharan county will reach the goal:

  • For developing countries as a whole, the success rate of reaching these goals is likely to be only 16 percent.
  • One in 11 children in low-income countries dies before reaching five, most from preventable diseases and health problems, compared with one in 143 in rich countries.
  • Some 500,000 women die from complications in pregnancy and childbirth.

The slow progress on health, which accounts for half the eight targets the UN set for development in the world's poorest states, is particularly distressing because many of the means for improving the situation -- drugs and health techniques -- are both available and affordable.

Source: "World to Fall Short of Child Health Targets," Reuters, January 9, 2004; based upon, "Millennium Development Goals," United Nations, December 15, 2003.

For UN Millennium Development Goals


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