Unfulfilled 3rd Millennium Development Goals (7)
As a reminder, it was said that on September 2000 AD, 189 heads of state approved the United Nations Millennium Declaration.
This declaration was marked as an unprecedented global commitment in countering some of the major global challenges, putting emphasis on alleviation of poverty and promotion of quality of life for masses of people, across the globe. On this basis, one of the goals agreed by UN member states was to campaign against AIDS, malaria, and other illnesses such as tuberculosis, and to reduce the number of the related patients. According to the agreement concluded by the signatories to UN Millennium Declaration, this goal should have materialized until the end of the year 2015. Today, we study the level of materialization of this goal.
Based on several evidences, improvement of healthcare, campaign against ailments, and a rise in life expectancy are some of the factors that lead to economic growth and development of any given country. However, currently, the three ailments of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis are some contagious diseases which have been troublesome for the development plans of a number of countries. A fall in production; surge of costs; and decline of profits and investments have been some of the consequences of spread of these illnesses. Hence, the world health experts believe that assistance to, and reinforcement of the health systems of all countries, especially poor and lesser developed countries, is one of the most important instructions which should be focused upon. Hence, launching a campaign against AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis was one of the goals which have been taken into consideration within the framework of UN Millennium Development plan.
In the year in which the goals of the Third Millennium Development Plan were set, the world was faced with an extraordinary wave of new cases of AIDS. According to that year’s estimations, nearly 1.3 million fresh cases of AIDS were registered, while every day, 8500 people contracted AIDS, and 4300 people succumbed to AIDS-related ailments. In the year 2000, it was estimated that if the international community would not take immediate measures to uproot AIDS, the new cases of AIDS would reach six million in numbers by the year 2014. Hence, the global community made an intelligent investment for resolution of AIDS crisis, bringing about significant outcomes for the international community and the global economy.
Based on the recently published figures, the purposeful investments in campaign against illnesses such as AIDS and malaria have brought about unprecedented outcomes. From 2000-2015 more than 6.2 million malaria patients have survived this illness. Meanwhile, 2.1 billion people have gained access to improved health facilities. In regard to HIV positive cases, eight million of the thirty-four million AIDS patients are receiving anti-virus treatment.
According to UN plans in regard to AIDS, this ailment will be completely uprooted by the year 2030 AD. Meanwhile, the UN Chief, Ban Ki Moon, has recently called for global cooperation in a bid to wipe out AIDS as part of the sustainable development goals.
Although reports note that the UN Millennium Development Plan has made significant achievements across the globe; this progress has not been uniformed, and a wide rift is still observed among different countries in relation to the accomplishments of this UN plan. For instance, awareness is the first step in avoidance of transmission of AIDS. Nonetheless, still less than one third of young men and only one fifth of young women in developing countries are aware of the facts about HIV virus. Moreover, the tests related to AIDS are still not easily carried out in many regions of the world. According to a UN report, only 54% of AIDS patients are aware of their fatal illness. Also, based on this report, access to children who have contracted AIDS has experienced a sluggish growth, such that as of the year 2014, only 32% of 6.2 million children who suffer from AIDS have been identified and just 30% of these patients have access to AIDS treatment. These children bear many hardships and woes. They have been born with AIDS, while half of these children are exposed to death prior to the age of two. These children are orphans and are discriminated against. The majority of these children who live in rural regions, are forsaken in their villages.
Based on UN report, till the year 2020, a $9.3 billion investment is needed to counter this fatal ailment, and till the year 2030, an additional $3.3 billion worth of investments is needed to uproot this illness across the world.
Meanwhile, the next UN five-year plan has focused upon reduction of the malaria mortality rate to one third of the current death toll, and reduction of the number of malaria patients by 40% in 19 African countries. If these short-term goals are fulfilled, malaria could be uprooted by the year 2050.
Meanwhile, currently one of the major health concerns across the world is the spread of tuberculosis. More than 90% of tuberculosis mortality cases occur in developing countries. In these countries, an adult who has contracted AIDS cannot work for three to four months, and therefore 20 to 30% of his annual family earnings are lost. Meanwhile, the HIV positive patients are significantly exposed to tuberculosis. In fact, in countries which the AIDS cases are high, especially in Sub-Sahara Africa region, we are witness to a significant growth in the number of tuberculosis cases. In the year 2012, around 13% of tuberculosis patients worldwide were also HIV positive.
Meanwhile, disputes pose a major threat against human resources development. Currently, war-stricken and vulnerable countries are still grappling with abysmal poverty and a number of contagious illnesses.
It is crystal clear that resolution of the current global health concerns necessitates an international cooperation to overcome the challenges ahead in the health sector. Meanwhile, all countries, especially developed states should fulfill their global commitments in this realm.