Action for Global Health calls on the EU to "get real" on the health MDGs
- Category: News Archive 2010
07 April 2010
On World Health Day 2010, a new report from Action for Global Health urges EU leaders to commit 0.1% of GNI to ensure universal access to healthcare for people in developing countries.
The report ‘2010 Reality Check: Time is Running Out to Meet the Health Millennium Development Goals' urges European leaders to focus on 3 issues which can break the cycle of poverty and ill health in developing countries.
"Time is running out but EU leaders can still make a difference. They must recognise the importance of health for development and come forward with the necessary money", said Marielle Hart, Stop Aids Alliance.
In September, world leaders will meet for the UN MDG Review Summit - a check-up for the 8 Millennium Development Goals they committed to ten years ago. With only 5 years left to go until the MDGs deadline of 2015, the signs are worrying at best.
Leaders of rich countries may claim the fight against poverty is a top priority but the facts tell a different story:
- Every minute, a woman dies from complications in pregnancy or childbirth; there has been no significant reduction in maternal mortality since 1990;
- Every day around 29,000 children die before they reach their fifth birthday - the vast majority from preventable causes;
- Each year, TB, HIV and malaria jointly kill over 5 million people - at a cost of millions of dollars to the economies of low income countries.
Health is a right not a luxury
"Our children die due to a lack of money to pay the hospital bills."
- Sandu Bendu, member of the Gbundorbu Community in Bo district, Sierra Leone
Ten years on from signing the Millennium Development Goals, the EU still has no comprehensive strategy for tackling the health inequalities that exist between rich and poor countries. Across Africa as a whole, a shortage of well trained medical staff means that the risk of dying in pregnancy and childbirth is as high as 1 in 22, compared to 1 in 120 in Asia and 1 in 7,300 in Western countries.
In Sierra Leone, a preliminary doctor's consultation currently costs around 25 days of income for one person.
"Good health is a fundamental right and the engine of economic progress. As the world's largest aid donor the EU must support developing countries to provide health systems that meet their people's needs", emphasized Monika Kosinska, Secretary General of the European Public Health Alliance.
By committing 0.1% of GNI specifically to development health spending, European leaders can provide concrete support to the fight against poverty-related but preventable illnesses such as HIV, TB, death in childbirth and child mortality.
"This is not fairytale economics. The EU can help break the cycle of poverty and ill health in developing countries. The MDG Review is their last chance to show real leadership. Words alone are not enough, now's time for concrete action," said Sabine Terlecki, Plan EU Liaison office.
Action for Global Health is a network of European health and development organisations advocating for the European Union and its Member States to play a more proactive role in improving health in developing countries, as well as enabling these countries to achieve meaningful progress on the health MDGs.
For the full report (PDF) visit:
For more information please contact
Frazer Goodwin, Global Health Manager, European Public Health Alliance,
Sabine Terlecki, Communication and Advocacy officer, Plan EU Liaison Office
Marielle Hart, Head of EU Policy, Stop Aids Alliance