News / Africa

Africa Least Likely to Meet Health Targets Set by UN

A report by the World Health Organization finds Africa is the region least likely to achieve the health targets set by the U.N. Millennium Development Goals.

This year's World Health Statistics report provides a snapshot of global health trends.  It shows significant progress has been made in a number of areas.  

The report finds fewer children are dying.  Globally, it says less than nine million children under age five died in 2008.  This is down by 30 percent since 1990.  

It says fewer children are underweight, fewer people are becoming infected with HIV, malaria deaths are decreasing and nearly 90 percent of the world's population has access to safe water.

Despite this progress, the report says the world is not on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.  It says the region most off track and least likely to achieve the MDG targets is Africa, and to a lesser extent the Eastern Mediterranean Region.  

Carla Abou-Zahr is Coordinator of the Statistics, Monitoring and Analysis Department at the World Health Organization.  While the outlook for Africa is generally grim, she notes some African countries are doing much better than others.

"If we just take child mortality, under five mortality, we have seen some enormous declines of over 40 percent in countries as diverse as Eritrea, Malawi, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Niger and Namibia.  Several of these countries faced enormous challenges in the 1990s including civil conflict," she said.  

Abou-Zahr says progress for some interventions are better than others.  For example, she says there is fairly good coverage almost everywhere in areas such as anti-natal care and immunization.

But she notes results are not as good in areas where a functioning health-care system is needed, such as skilled care during delivery or treatment for pneumonia or diarrhea.  

"What really epitomizes this need for increased access to health system interventions is the fact that about 40 percent of deaths in children under five years old occur in the newborn period, that very critical time within the first few days and weeks of birth," she said.  "And addressing that challenge of newborn mortality is also the same kind of challenge as addressing maternal mortality," said Abou-Zahr.

The report says improving newborn care in the first month of life is essential for reducing child deaths in developing countries.  It notes maternal health remains the Millennium Development Goals target for which progress has been most disappointing.  Nearly half a million women are estimated to die in childbirth each year.

The report says infectious diseases remain the leading cause of death in Africa and remains a major problem in India.  But outside Africa, it says non-communicable diseases, such as tobacco use, alcohol and obesity are the leading cause of death.

You May Like

Australia Knights Prince Philip, Sparking National Outrage

Abbott's surprise reintroduction of knights and dames in the country's honors system last year drew criticism that he was out of touch with national sentiment More

SAG Award Boosts 'Birdman' Oscar Hopes

Individual acting Oscars appear to be sewn up: SAG awards went to artists who won Golden Globes: Julianne Moore, Eddie Redmayne, Patricia Arquette, J.K. Simmons More

Katy Perry Lights Way for Super Bowl's Girl Power Moment

Pop star's selection to headline US football championship's halftime show extends NFL's trend of selecting artists who appeal to younger viewers More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sidesi
X
June Soh
January 23, 2015 10:03 PM
The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.
Video

Video US Marching Bands Grow Into a Show of Their Own

The 2014 Super Bowl halftime show was the most-watched in history - attracting an estimated 115 million viewers. That event featured pop star Bruno Mars. But the halftime show tradition started with marching bands, which still dominate the entertainment at U.S. high school and college American football games. But as Enming Liu reports in this story narrated by Adrianna Zhang, marching bands have grown into a show of their own.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid