Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

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What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Tragic Irony of of a Two Punch Combo Against the Poor - Malaria and Poverty

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This blog has done a number of posts in the past on the need to fund Malaria intervention programs around the world. A recent post tried to paint a rosier picture than usual to make the argument that Millennium Development Goal No. 6 was achievable within the next 5 years or at least great strides could be made. I could easily be accused of whistling in the dark because for each positive stride we make the recent economic crisis seems to put us two back.

This May AAAS Science Magazine has a special issue on Tuberculosis and Malaria, two of of focuses for Millennium Development Goal 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases.

Stella Hurtley, Caroline Ash, Leslie Roberts Infectious disease remains one of the biggest killers in developing countries. Two of them account for an enormous toll: Eleven million people live with tuberculosis (TB), and almost 250 million cases of malaria—and roughly a million deaths among children—were reported in 2008; a staggering assault on human-kind. The 33 million people who live with HIV/AIDS are frequently co-infected with TB and/or malaria, and co-infection increases the overall risk of mortality and morbidity from all three diseases. Once, we aspired to find "magic bullet" solutions to these plagues using vaccines or drugs, but we have learned that there are no cure-all or simple solutions. These pathogens have complex repertoires of genetic resources that permit them to constantly reinvent themselves and escape the pressures applied by infection-control measures. To curb these elusive targets, we, too, need a large repertoire of tools.

In the same issue, Dr. Barry R. Bloom, Harvard University Distinguished Service Professor of Public Health and former dean of the Harvard School of Public Health Editorial wrote an editorial in support for Global Health and against the $50 million reduction in funding for the Global Fund requested by the U.S. government for fiscal year 2011. Sorry, but you need to be a paid AAAS member to see the entire magazine.

Editorial Support for Global Health Barry R. Bloom

As more nations struggle with stressed economies, aid to the developing world becomes increasingly vulnerable to governments' budgetary cuts. The industrialized world is recognizing that coordinating global development assistance is the most efficient way to maximize effectiveness and minimize duplication. Earlier this year, the United States, the largest funder of global health assistance, announced that it seeks to expand multilateral efforts to address the major health problems of developing countries. One of the triumphs of multilateral cooperation has been the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, a program that has saved millions of lives in developing countries. That is why the $50 million reduction in funding for the Global Fund requested by the U.S. government for fiscal year 2011, in the face of increased requests for expanded coverage by those countries, would be a major setback.

The AAAS report also featured one of the good guys in this struggle, the Malaria Consortium which according to their website works in partnership with communities, health systems, government and non-government agencies, academic institutions and local and international organisations to ensure good evidence supports delivery of effective services. Together, we work to secure access for groups most at risk, to prevention, care and treatment of malaria and other communicable diseases.

TUESDAY, May 11 (HealthDay News) -- Infectious diseases such as pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and blood poisoning account for more than two-thirds of the 8.8 million annual deaths in kids under 5 years of age worldwide, a new report shows.
Adding more of a burden on the tragic irony of the situation, impoverished Women in developing countries are forced to to choose between trying to save their children from malaria and spending money for food to avoid risk losing their children to starvation. An average poor family spends 30 percent of household income fighting malaria.

The good folks at Care2 raised this issue an important truth about focusing on only one aspect of the Millennium Development Goals at a time.

Malaria is economically devastating, too. According to research by Freedom from Hunger, in West Africa very poor families, on average, spend one-third of their income dealing with malaria. It's essential that the UN Capital Development Fund educate women about microfinance opportunities so they can develop the financial resources to fight this deadly disease.

To help you imagine what it means to spend a third of your income just to prevent one disease, that is the percent of income that in the United States is viewed as being an appropriate level for affordable housing. In America, you should expect to pay 30% of your income to pay for your shelter, the greatest essential expense most people in this country have. You can help by clicking here to tell the UN Capital Development Fund to increase these opportunities for women. >>

It is widely recognized that women are the key to getting these countries out of poverty. Giving these women a boost with a micro loan helps them to take that extra step and give themselves permission to be creative and resourceful. These systems are already in place. We just need to make sure they reach these families in time.
The UNCDF or United Nations Capital Development Fund offers a unique combination of investment capital, capacity building and technical advisory services to promote microfinance and local development in the Least Developed Countries

Here is my contribution to the conversation:

As is so often the case, the lack of attention to one of the Millennium Development Goals impacts detrimentally another of the Millennium Development Goals. Millennium Development Goal 3 seeks to address the disenfranchisement of women economically and otherwise even though they usually have primary responsibility for family care. By not addressing their basic human needs it weakens even more their capacity to help address the scourges that Millennium Development Goal 6 seeks to address. It cannot be one of the other, it has to be both, it has to be all eight in truth. For today though, for this step, in light of billion dollar bailouts, we need to address these issues through both fronts being proposed here.

I was number 9,181 and they are trying to get to 10,000 and beyond.
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