'A footprint means pressing down and global means world, so 'global footprint' means pressing down on the world and we don't want to press too hard' (child's definition of a Global Footprint)
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Millennium Development Goals

The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were agreed at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000 and nearly 190 countries have signed up to them. The goals are international targets for reducing global poverty. They aim to lift around 500 million people out of poverty by the year 2015. If this happens, fewer women will die in childbirth, fewer people will die from treatable diseases, many more boys and girls will go to school and the lives of millions of people will improve dramatically.

Health is probably the most important issue when it comes to achieving the MDGs. Three of the eight goals and eight of the 18 targets are directly related to health.

Goal 4 relates directly to child health with a target of reducing by two thirds the death rate among children under five. The main illnesses that kill children under five are HIV/AIDS, malaria, diarrhoea and pneumonia. No region of the developing world is currently on track to meet the target of reducing child deaths. However, there is some good news: there has been a large increase in the use of mosquito nets which protect children being bitten at night by malaria carrying mosquitoes and deaths from measles fell from over 750,000 in 2000 to less than 250,000 in 2006 and about 80 per cent of children in developing countries now receive a measles vaccine.   

Goal 5 relates to maternal health (already in glossary see Women’s Rights) with a target to reduce by three quarters the number of women who die as a result of giving birth to a child. The proportion of women who have help from a skilled medical person when they give birth has increased in some regions, especially Asia but overall the targets on maternal health look like they will be difficult to achieve. Countries where there is a high death rate among pregnant women are showing little or no improvement.

Goal 6 relates to combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other serious diseases with targets on stopping the spread of such diseases and providing treatment to all those who need it. Progress here has been slow but seems to be moving in the rights direction: The number of deaths from AIDS fell from 2.2 million in 2005 to 2 million in 2007, and the number of people newly infected declined from 3 million in 2001 to 2.7 million in 2007.

 

For more information on the Millennium Development Goals

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