Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

UN Summit Boosts Health Goals

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

UN Summit Boosts Health Goals

Article excerpt

The 60th anniversary UN World Summit gave a much-needed boost to efforts to improve health in developing countries, although there was little progress on proposals to increase development aid from rich to poor countries.

The reform document adopted by 151 heads of state and government gathered in New York from 14 to 16 September watered down UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's original proposals, but health experts said it was positive for the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

"The summit laid down a marker to say 'we've got to take time to build health systems if we want to achieve the MDGs'. It put health systems in the middle of the action," said Dr Andrew Cassels, WHO Director of MDGs, Health and Development Policy.

Almost half of the final 35-page document concerned development issues. Among other things, the section on health recognizes the importance of investing in adequately resourced and staffed health systems if countries are to achieve the health-related MDGs.

It recommits governments to achieving universal access to reproductive health by 2015--which is key for MDG 5 to improve maternal health and MDG 4 to improve child health--and encourages support of WHO's Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network. It also reconfirmed support for achieving MDG 6 on HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, including tuberculosis. …

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