Millennium Development Goals fail poor children: The case for equity-adjusted measures
Author(s)/Editor(s): Reidpath DD, Morel CM, Mecaskey WJ and Allotey P
Publisher/Organizer: PLoS - Medicine
Publication date: 28 April 2009
“of the Millennium Declaration is to address the health and development needs of society's most vulnerable and least served. Issues of equity form a key principle:
We recognize that, in addition to our separate responsibilities to our individual societies, we have a collective responsibility to uphold the principles of human dignity, equality and equity at the global level. As leaders we have a duty therefore to all the world's people, especially the most vulnerable and, in particular, the children of the world, to whom the future belongs. ”
- The Millennium Declaration is a statement of principles about the kind of future that world governments seek; a future that they envisage to be more equitable and more responsive to the socially most vulnerable.
- The Millennium Development Goals represent the operational targets by which we may judge their actions.
- The reduction of the U5MR by two-thirds by 2015 is one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG4).
- The reduction in U5MR can, however, be achieved through a diversity of policy interventions, some of which could leave the children of the poor worse off. A celebrated MDG4 success can, thus, be a Millennium Declaration failure.
- Health policy informed by composite outcome measures that take account of both the U5MR and the distribution of the burden of mortality across social groups would help to overcome this.