News / Africa

Africa Least Likely to Meet Health Targets Set by UN

TEXT SIZE - +

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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid