A decade ago, the United Nations established Millennium Development Goals (MDGd), the purpose of which was to achieve critical public health goals by 2015-20. According to the report released recently for 2012, many goals are being met.
For example, the MDGs states that extreme poverty is declining in every region of the world. The rates are falling in all developing regions, even in the area of sub-Saharan Africa, which is where rates are usually the highest. Also, the number of people who are living on $1.25 per day has fallen from 47% in 1990 to only 24% in 2008. This is a major reduction from over two billion to less than 1.4 billion.
This shows that the reduction in poverty goal that was set over a decade ago was met. The first target of the MSGs was to cut extreme poverty in half from the level in 1990. This goal was achieved well before the target date of 2015.
Drinking Water Access
Next, the report states that the target was met to halve the number of people without access to decent drinking water. This goal was met in 2010. The number of people who were using an improved source of water rose from 76% in 1990 to 89% in 2010. More than 2 billion people had improved access to better water from 1990 to 2010. Some of these improved sources include piped water supplies and wells with protected walls.
Further, substantial improvements were made in the lives of 200 million people who live in slums. This also exceeded MSG goal targets. Specifically, the number of urban dwellers in the developing world who live in slum-like conditions dropped from 39% in 2000 to 33% in 2012. Over 200 million people had improved access to better sources of water, better sanitation facilities or housing that was less crowded.
Also, much progress has been made in improving access to universal primary education around the world. Rates of enrollment of children who are of primary school age went up a great deal in sub-Saharan Africa. The rate of increase was from 58% to 76%.
And, access to effective treatment for HIV sufferers increased in all areas of the country. At the end of the year 2010, 6.5 million people were getting effective treatments for HIV and AIDS in developing countries. This is an increase of over 2 million people from December 2009, which is the largest increase in history.
Overall, the MDGs have been highly successful in improving many public health problems throughout the world. Through continued work and financial support, there is a good possibility that all goals will be met between the years 2015 and 2020.