The World We Want

Happy New Year from EAHForum!

Today we are 2.93 years away from the end of 2015. At the end of 2015, the world will collectively reflect on the progress made in achieving the eight Millenium Development Goals.  Here at EAHForum, although we appreciate that all MDGs are inter-linked, we are particularly interested in MDG4 (reducing childhood mortality), MDG5 (improving maternal health), MDG6 (combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases) and MDG8 (providing access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries).

Over the past couple of years the UNDP has published regular national and regional progress reports – Africa MDG report 2012Africa MDG report 2011 & Africa MDG report 2010.  Although, both Egypt and Tunisia have achieved MDG4  i.e. the  reduction of under-5 mortality by two thirds, the rest of the continent lags behind. Looking at the infant mortality rate in East Africa between 1990 and 2010, Tanzania lead with a 47.4% reduction in infant mortality, followed by Uganda (40.6% reduction), Rwanda (40.4% reduction), Burundi (20% reduction) and Kenya (14.1% reduction).  Unfortunately despite this decline, the rate of infant mortality in the region and in the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa remains significantly high.

Although we have seen an overall decline in maternal mortality, progress in achieving MDG5 is slow and variable.  In Kenya, maternal mortality increased from 414 per 100,000 live births in 2003 to 488 per 100,000 in 2008/09. In Uganda, progress was slow with maternal mortality decreasing from 506 per 100,000 live births in 1995 to 435 per 100,000 in 2006/07.  Rwanda however is on track with a remarkable 73% decrease in maternal mortality rate from 1,400 per 100,000 live births in 1995 to 383 per 100,000 in 2010.  For insights into Rwanda’a success with MDG5, read this blog post from Rwanda’s Minister of Health, Dr. Agnes Binagwaho – The Future of Innovation in Rwanda’s Health Sector.

The 2012 report also highlights rapid progress in specific targets of MDG6 i.e. the proportion of individuals with advanced HIV who have access to antiretrovirals. Furthermore, countries such as Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia have already achieved universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS i.e. greater than 80% coverage for all those that need treatment.  Data from Uganda is promising with 54% coverage in 2009 while Kenya is on track with coverage of 70% in 2009.  There has also been a significant drop in the number of new HIV infections in Sub-Saharan Africa.  In the 2012 UNAIDS report, the incidence rate of HIV infection in adults between 2001 and 2011 was reported to be stable in Uganda and decreasing in Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda with Rwanda reporting greater than a 50% reduction.

The figures above provide a limited snapshot of progress in health-related MDGs in East Africa.  Furthermore each MDG is complex as it consists of targets and indicators and up to date information is not publically available for all countries.  As we approach 2015, there is increasing dialogue about the post-2015 agenda. The UN recently launched an online civil society consultation on ‘Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda’ with the following key themes:

1. What are the lessons learnt from the health related MDGs?
2. What is the priority health agenda for the 15 years after 2015?
3. How does health fit in the post 2015 development agenda?
4. What are the best indicators and targets for health?
5. How can country ownership, commitment, capacity and accountability for the goals, targets and indicators be enhanced?

Click on the gallery below to see what EAHForum members and friends in East Africa and in the UK had to say……….

The consultation above closed in December 2012.  However, there is an ongoing ediscussion on ‘HIV, Health and the Post-2015 Development Agenda’ which runs until the 3rd of February 2013. Have your say here: The World We Want