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Millenial Development Goals: A Success? Essay

1858 words - 7 pages

Can the MDGS be considered a success?

Although the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will not be reached by 2015, they cannot be deemed a failure but are a partial success due to the progress reached by the targets. Consisting of eight international targets of development, the goals were established in 1990 to address extreme poverty across a wide spectrum of human rights by 2015. Due to the enormity of information available across the eight goals, this response shall focus on Millennium Goal 4 (MDG4) as it exemplifies the notion of a limited success. Even with accelerated efforts, MDG4 will not be able to reduce under-five child mortality rates by two-thirds within the established time frame. However, to label this outcome a failure is a superficial assessment undermining how the goal has galvanized efforts to improve child survival. The major achievements expounded upon in this response include the global reduction of child and neo-natal mortality rates, improved monitoring of data and the developed efficiency and coverage of interventions. Conversely, the criticisms that surround these accomplishments illuminate the insufficiencies of the target. Overall, this response purports that MDG4 is a limited success as it has facilitated improvement in child health and requires further development to achieve the global target.

The influence of MDG4 in accelerating the reduction of under-five mortality rates is an important indicator of success. The death of those less than five years old is a major global determinant of life expectancy, demonstrating why this field is such a critical area of study. At an initial evaluation, the global health action does not warrant a success as it unable to finitely reach the target. Regarding the 75 countries with the highest number of preventable deaths, just 17 nations will reach this goal by 2015 with a current gap of 2.2million lives (UN 2010) Moreover, UNICEF estimates that MDG4 will not be reached until 2028 (UNICEF 2009). However, this overarching insufficiency does not discount the contributions of MDG to catalyze advancements. As noted by Nigeria’s former minister of health Muhammed Pate, “we will miss the target, but it’s important not to lose sight of it”(Murray 2012, pp. 139), acknowledging the significance of the accelerated pace of progress that has been achieved. Globally, the infant mortality rate has declined 47% from 12.4 million deaths in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012 (Lozano & Foreman 2011, p. 140). This trend is apparent across most regions of the Millennium Development Goals, with all regions except Oceania and Sub-Saharan Africa showing a reduction of more than 50% in under-five deaths (Lozano & Foreman 2011, p. 141). This acceleration is largely attributable to the initiatives of MDG4 that include the increased accessibility of medicines, and shall be discussed in more depth throughout the response. Therefore, the accelerated reduction of global mortality rates is a significant...

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