As the world moves rapidly towards a new policy agenda for the post-Millennium Development Goal (MDG) era, emerging priority themes include universal health coverage, sustainable cities, and the demand for human rights and accountability. It’s a fact that the world is rapidly urbanising with significant changes in our living standards, lifestyles, social behaviour and health. Thirty years ago, four out of every 10 people were living in cities, but by 2050 the UN predicts this number will grow to seven out of 10.
“Sustain Gains, Save Lives: Invest in Malaria” – World Malaria Day 2012 on 25 April upholds a strong theme to reverse the rate of death in Malaria in developing countries. Millions of people in the malaria endemic areas are threatened by a simple mosquito bite that can lead to death.
How BRAC has contributed to saving Bangladeshi mothersOn February 13, 2011, Bangladeshis woke up to some wonderful news: a significant nationwide Maternal Mortality Survey showed that Bangladesh has achieved tremendous improvement in reducing maternal mortality in the last 9 years - a whopping 40% drop, from 322 to 194 per 100,000 live births, putting the nation on track to meet the United Nations (UN) Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 5 by 2015. Percentage-wise, the rate of decline is about 5.5 percent each year on average, 0.1 percentage point lower than the required 5.4 percent for attaining MDG 5.
This post was also featured on The Huffington Post blog. While the UN says that the world is on track to reach the first Millennium Development Goal of cutting poverty in half by 2015, progress toward goal #5, to reduce maternal mortality by 75% by 2015, remains the target for which progress has been most disappointing. While there is progress, as highlighted by the Lancet's recent estimates of falling maternal mortality rate, which is worth celebrating, the sense of urgency has not, and should not, abate.