Achieving the Millennium Development Goals: The Case of Malaria

Sachs, Jeffrey D.

Malaria currently kills up to 3 million people per year worldwide, most of them children in sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the disease is utterly treatable and highly preventable. Now, the international community has vowed as part of its Millennium Development Goals to make appropriate investments and interventions to bring this scourge under control. These goals, adopted by world leaders at the United Nations Millennium Assembly in September 2000, represent a commitment to reducing extreme poverty and diseases such as malaria sharply by 2015. Among other objectives, the eight development goals call for reducing by half the rates of extreme poverty and hunger by 2015 and reducing childhood mortality by two thirds and maternal mortality by three fourths relative to their 1990 levels. The goals also target the control of the great pandemic diseases — human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria. In 2002, the high-income countries, including the United States, made a commitment to substantially increasing their aid to poor countries in order to meet these ambitious but achievable targets, though the actual flow of aid has not yet increased markedly.


Also Published In

New England Journal of Medicine

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Earth Institute
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October 12, 2009