(2011; 15 pages)
The 8 UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), adopted by 189 governments in the year 2000, target the improvement of health and economic conditions around the world.
With MDG 4 on child health, these governments aim to reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate. As the deadline approaches, we need to evaluate our progress so far. The UN reports that between 1990 and 2009, the number of children that died before their 5th birthday has reduced by almost one third. This is a great achievement but a long road lies ahead of us, while not much time remains. Only 9 of the 64 countries with high child mortality rates are on the right track to meet this MDG target.
The MDG on child health is inherently linked to the rights of the child, as declared by the UN and adopted by almost 200 countries worldwide. However, as is the case with so many rights and proclaimed equalities, we still see that some children are less equal than others.
Some have a lesser chance at life than others, because they don’t have access to essential medicines when they need them the most. In this edition of Contact magazine, several authors talk about the main child-killer diseases, about what is being done to realize the MDGs on child health and on what should be done in the coming years.