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Goal #4Child Health
Introduction

One of the darkest characteristics of poverty is that is seems to prey on the vulnerable and defenceless. In low-income countries, one out of every 10 children dies before the age of five. In wealthier nations, this number is only one out of 143.

The Targets

Goal 4 of the Millennium Development Goals sets out by the year 2015 to:

  • Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five.
Did You Know?
  • In our world today nearly 11 million children under the age of 5 die in the world every year – well over 1,200 every hour most from easly preventable or treatable causes. (Source:Why do the Millennium Development Goals matter? Brochure)
Achieving the Goals

With the help of donor aid and UN organizations, the Eritrean government commenced an aggressive approach to reducing child mortality increasing the number of children vaccinated from 9.6% in 1991 to 76% in 2002.

The Eritrean government used the method of Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI), a holistic way of looking at the life of infants and young children. Over 500 additional health workers were trained in IMCI methods to both prevent and cure diseases, focusing on the well-being of the entire child. In addition, they launched an aggressive vaccination campaign.

Even with this rapid progress, the government is not content. “We need to work very hard to reduce it even more,” said Zemui Alemu, director of the Family and Community Health Division at the Eritrean Ministry of Health.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Goal News

Portuguese actress and TV presenter Catarina Furtado is UNFPA ambassador. After travelling extensively through Africa, Catarina has always found “deep injustice and social inequalities”. Guinea-Bissau is the country that, in her view, best represents “total injustice” – and it’s precisely in that country that she is currently contributing for a project on child mortality and maternal health.


It is the 7th anniversary of the pledge by African Union member states to allocate 15% of national budgets to health. In a statement to mark the anniversary, Archbishop Tutu stated:


According to the draft Health Service Development Plan (HSDP) joint UNDP and Ministry of Heath report of 2005, the per capita health service expenditure of Ethiopia is rated at 5.9 US dollars, the least among a list of other developing countries such as Kenya (31 USD), Uganda(18 USD), and Tanzania(8 USD). The report also indicated that in order to meet MDGs Ethiopia needs to increase the health service expenditure to 34 USD.


The views below are those of Wada na Todo Abhiyan, a national coalition of 3000 organisations and networks in India.

Despite the rhetorical recognition of the ‘twin pillars of the edifice of social sector reforms’, the UPA government has failed to take the historic opportunity to revamp the educational and health infrastructure of the country, even in the fourth consecutive budget of its government.


The goal of the Year is to raise awareness and accelerate progress towards the Millennium Development Goal target to reduce by half the proportion of people without access to basic sanitation by 2015. The International Year of Sanitation was established by the UN General Assembly.

Secretary General’s Message