Many Developing Countries Behind Schedule for Meeting Millennium Development Goals, World Bank Report Says
Many developing countries "risk falling short" of reaching the United Nations Development Programme's Millennium Development Goals to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS and malaria and reduce infant and maternal mortality, according to a World Bank report released on Thursday, Reuters reports (MacInnis, Reuters, 11/11). The Millennium Development Goals include cutting poverty in half by 2015, increasing efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS and educating 100 million children who currently are not attending school (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 4/26). The World Bank report, titled "Rising to the Challenges: The Millennium Development Goals for Health," says that developing countries are "behind schedule" in meeting the goals and that "substantial investments" are needed to distribute medical technologies, train health care workers and fund health services "if the world is to stand a realistic chance of reaching these goals," according to Reuters. Although the World Bank said that the "most progress" has been made in efforts to reduce malnutrition, none of the countries are on track to reach the child mortality goals, according to Reuters. The World Bank said that governments need to spend more money on health care targeting poor populations and make health care reforms in order to reach the goals, according to Reuters. The World Bank also recommended that countries train additional medical staff to combat a "brain drain" of doctors and nurses leaving developing countries (Reuters, 11/11). However, some World Bank critics said the bank is "partly to blame" for countries not meeting the goals because it sets conditions for loans that "deprive the poor of good health care, urge privatization of health systems and tacitly encourage imposing higher user fees on services," according to Inter Press Service (Mekay, Inter Press Service, 11/11).This is part of the Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.