Tag Archives: Millennium Development Goal

2.4 Billion Still Lack Sanitation

jmp_cover130By 2015 2.4 billion people will still lack access to proper sanitation – that’s one-third of the world’s population. In a new joint report by the WHO and UNICEF, Progress on sanitation and drinking-water 2013 update, we learn that MDG 7.C will not be met and in fact will be missed by 8%. There has been an improvement in sanitation coverage since 1990, however. Two-thirds of the world’s population gained access to proper sanitation since 1990. East Asia has seen the largest increase in sanitation rates since that time. Sanitation coverage has increased from 27% since 1990 to 67% in 2011. Still there are 45 countries that have less than 50% sanitation coverage including most of sub-Saharan Africa and India.

Based on numbers in the report open defecation has decreased to 15% worldwide since 1990 and many countries have made significant strides to decrease the open defecation rate including Vietnam and Cambodia, as examples. Vietnam decreased their open defecation rate by 37%. Now only 3% of Vietnam’s population practices open defecation. Cambodia, as another example, lowered its open defecation rate from 84% to 58% within an 11 year span (1990 – 2011).

“There is an urgent need to ensure all the necessary pieces are in place – political commitment, funding, leadership – so the world can accelerate progress and reach the Millennium Development Goal sanitation target” said Dr Maria Neira, WHO Director for Public Health and Environment. “The world can turn around and transform the lives of millions that still do not have access to basic sanitation. The rewards would be immense for health, ending poverty at its source, and well-being.”

According to the report “urban dwellers make up three-quarters of those with access to piped water supplies at home. Rural communities comprise 83% of the global population without access to improved drinking water source and 71 per cent of those living without sanitation.”[1]

Read the full report at www.who.int/water_sanitation_health

Photo: UN

4 Ways You Can Help Save Newborn Lives

Last week the Global Newborn Health Conference took place in Johannesburg, South Africa. As the first conference to gather leading experts and NGOs together working to reduce  newborn mortality,  one solid, unified voice emerged committed to saving more newborn lives not in lip service, but rather in actionable ideas and steps to reach Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 4 by 2015.

Reaching MDG4 globally is a daunting task to be sure. That is why leading organizations and foundations have to tackle newborn mortality full throttle. With less than 1000 days to reach MDG 4 across the board some countries will meet their targeted goals and others will fall short. We know this. However, the post 2015 agenda is equally as important in order to strive to keep more babies alive. Reducing the number of 3 million babies who die each year is an ongoing process. In fact, the number seems so high you might feel you can’t truly help if you’re not a part of the global development community, but you can. Here’s how.

  1. Become a part of the conversation: Emerging from the Global Newborn Health Conference was the Global Newborn Health Action Plan. The Plan, which will be officially launched in November, is looking for a range of voices about ways to reduce newborn deaths. You can have your say at www.globalnewbornaction.org and also join the conversation on Twitter at #newbornactionplan.
  2. Donate to newborn health projects: Through Catapult,  a crowdfunding platform with a clear emphasis on women and girls, you can donate to carefully chosen projects that specifically help newborns. Consider donating to PATH’s breast milk banking project in South Africa or birth waiting homes in Sierra Leone that will save moms’ and babies’ lives.
  3. Advocate for and support leading NGOs: There are leading NGOs that work specifically in the areas of maternal and newborn health like Save the Children that works in over 100 countries saving children and Jhpiego that has health programs in more than 25 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
  4. Shop and support the March of Dimes: Through Mother’s Day you can shop, dine, and donate to the March of Dimes through their new imbornto.com campaign. Funds go to improve and amplify research to save more babies’ lives both domestically and globally.

A Global Update on Tuberculosis on World TB Day

Today marks World TB Day, a day that has been celebrated since 1982 to remember those who have succumbed to the disease, celebrate the achievements met to lower TB rates, and resolve to do more to treat those who have tuberculosis.

Secretary-General & Mrs. Ban visit TB patients at the Institute of Respiratory Medicine to commemorate the World Tuberculosis Day in Malaysia along with the Minister of Health.
Secretary-General & Mrs. Ban visit TB patients at the Institute of Respiratory Medicine to commemorate the World Tuberculosis Day in Malaysia along with the Minister of Health.

According to the Stop TB Partnership 1.5 million people die every year from tuberculosis. That number is down sharply 41% since 1990. The leading co-infection with HIV, tuberculosis remains a difficult disease to treat because of the many strains of multi-drug resistant TB that primarily plagues the developing world.

This week, leading up to World TB Day, leaders met in Swaziland to sign the Swaziland Statement (PDF) reaffirming the region’s commitment to meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of cutting the TB mortality rate by 50% by 2015. Africa is the only WHO region that is not on track to meet the TB MDG. In fact, in 2011 600,000 people died from TB in Africa accounting for 40% of the world’s toll. According to the Stop TB Partnership, Africa has overtaken Asia as the world’s leader in TB cases.

Over $120 million dollars was pledged to jump-start the initiative to render TB under control in Africa. The Global Fund to treat AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria pledged $102 million to the effort with additional funding coming from the UK government, the International Organization for Migration, and the Stop TB Partnership. There are now 1000 days before the MDGs expire. Participants who signed the Swaziland Statement are confident that the goal can be reached in Africa.

“The UN has given us a mandate that we have to achieve by 2015,” said King Mwatsi III of Swaziland as he welcomed the delegation. “When 2015 comes, will we be able to say that we have met the challenges set?”

Globally, multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) affects 630,000 people. MDR-TB is extremely hard and expensive to treat. And the treatment regime is hard for patients because of its level of toxicity that causes nausea and abdominal pain.

WHO Director-General Margaret Chan stressed that while curing MDR-TB is feasible, it takes 20 to 24 months of treatment with expensive and toxic drugs, some of which need to be administered by injection and some of which are in short supply.

“Despite recent success in shrinking the epidemic, the global TB burden remains enormous. MDR-TB has been detected in virtually every country that has looked for it,” Ms. Chan told a press briefing in Geneva on Thursday. (Source)

The $1.6 Billion Funding Challenge

According to the WHO and the Global Fund there is a $1.6 billion shortfall in TB funding which is mainly needed to diagnose and treat MDR-TB. Another $1.3 billion is needed every year for TB research.

We have a choice: we can invest now or we can pay forever.Global Fund

[NEW] EXPOSED the Race Against Tuberculosis from AERAS

EXPOSED is a four-part series of short films that tell the story of the deadly global epidemic of tuberculosis. The series focuses on current efforts to halt this airborne disease, which is growing more difficult to address, as well as the urgent movement to develop new tools to prevent it.

Aeras is a nonprofit biotech organization that advances new TB vaccines for the world.

EXPOSED: The Race Against Tuberculosis (Official Trailer) from Aeras on Vimeo.

[March 25 – 27] TB Vaccines Third Global Forum 


Tomorrow starts the third global forum addressing TB Vaccines. Held in Cape Town, South Africa you can follow the activity at #TBVaccines. The forum participants will discuss everything from creativity in research and discovery to advocacy and resource mobilization. Visit the forum site at www.tbvaccines2013.org.

Keep up with global tuberculosis news on TheGlobalFund.org, WHO.int, and GatesFoundation.org.

Photos: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Key Tweets from the Post 2015 High Level Meeting in Monrovia

David Cameron arrives in Monrovia to co-chair the Post-2015 High Level Meeting. Watch the video on The Guardian. Visit monrovia2015hlp.org to learn more about the meeting.

This week in Monrovia, Liberia a high level meeting is taking place to look at global development for post 2015 after the expiration of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Co-Chaired by UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono along with 27 members of the high level panel will collectively determine the aid and development agenda for the next twenty years.

From the high level meeting several key tweets emerged at the #post2015hlp hashtag.

What Issues Matter to You Most? Tell the United Nations

My WorldThe United Nations, specifically the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and United Nations Millennium Campaign, and some of its key partners, the Oversees Development Institute (ODI) and World Wide Web Foundation, have come together to create MY World, a global survey to gauge the personal interests and issues that matter most to people around the world from New York to Paris; from Sioux Falls to Rio. This new survey housed on myworld2015.org asks global citizens to choose 6 of the top 16 issue areas that mean the most to them and that will impact their lives post 2015.

Why is this survey critical?

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are slated to expire in 2015 and the global development community is gathering data and information to help set the course and  agenda for post 2015 global development. In fact, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, Liberian president, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will meet first in Monrovia, Liberia at the end of this month where the data findings will be presented. The survey results will become a part of the panel’s final report which will be delivered to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in May 2013.

Take the quick survey here.

The sixteen issues are:

  1. Better job opportunities
  2. Support for people who can´t work
  3. A good education
  4. Better healthcare
  5. Affordable and nutritious food
  6. Phone and internet access
  7. Better transport and roads
  8. Access to clean water and sanitation
  9. Reliable energy at home
  10. Action taken on climate change
  11. Protecting forests, rivers and oceans
  12. Equality between men and women
  13. Protection against crime and violence
  14. Political freedoms
  15. An honest and responsive government
  16. Freedom from discrimination and persecution

UN Photo/UNHCR/Glenna Gordon