7.1 Monitoring the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals

Key documents

  • Monitoring the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals: Health in the post-2015 development agenda(EB132/12)

Secretariat note

The annual report by the Secretariat on the status of progress made in the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals (requested in resolution WHA63.15) is supplemented by information on prevention and treatment of pneumonia and the work towards universal coverage of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health care, as requested in resolutions WHA63.24 and WHA58.31.

Health in the post-2015 development agenda

At the request of a Member State the Secretariat will report on application of the Rio+20 outcome document: health and sustainable development objectives, in conjunction with an account of  work being undertaken to develop the new generation of health-related development goals.

PHM comment pre-EB

With just about two years to the deadline set for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the United Nations (UN) initiated global consultations regarding the future of health in the post MDGs period.

The MDGs were a response to a an unsustainable iniquitous situation at the global level, brought about by continued transfer of resources from south to the north through debt repayment, unfair trade and investment regimes, and the role of ‘intellectual property protection in the denial of access to medicines at the height of the AIDS epidemic.

We share the view that future goals should be framed in a manner that take account of current global challenges and in a manner that elicits shared solutions involving all societies, and in a more consultative manner; hoping that it will not be business as usual, but one in which both developed and developing countries will honour their commitments. In this regard, we wish to acknowledge the parallel processes on the post 2015 health framework initiated by the UN in the past year.

While we appreciate the process and progress towards developing a health framework for after 2015, we wish to raise the following critical concerns on the subject:
We are concerned that the focus is on universal ‘coverage’ instead of universal healthcare. Universal health coverage has a great potential to foster the interest of the private sector, thereby compromising both quality of care and ethical standards of care.

The post MDGs agenda must work towards new approaches to national and global decision making, based on popular participation, direct democracy, solidarity, equity and development; not a repeat of the top down approached in which the MDGs were conceived, defined and implemented


MDGs have been critiqued for focusing on ends while being silent on the means to acheive them. This has been recognized as a lost opportunity to provide guidance on how to address the root cause of poverty and the unmet need for basic needs. It is hoped that the post 2015 global health framework will include realistic provisions that will address the means and ends questions.

We appreciate the political recognition of the societal and economic impact of non communicable diseases. We wish to submit that non communicable diseases be prioritized in the post 2015, but not as a replacement for other health priorities.

Report of discussion

Item 7.1 Monitoring the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals  (Document EB132/11)

 Monitoring the achievement of the health-related Millennium Development Goals: Health in the post-2015 development agenda (Document EB132/12)

All countries stated that MDGs have a central role in WHO's work and have been a powerful reference point. However, even if substantial progress has been made, large gaps still persist in the achievement of the MDGs.

Speaking on behalf of the Africa Region, Senegal said, upon assessing the MDGs, that progresses have been made on MDG  6, but goals 4 and 5 have still to be looked at.

According to Senegal, reduction in child mortality has been 4% in some areas (1990– 2011). Senegal added that access to adequate health care at the time of birth is still a big challenge in the region; women are not sufficiently empowered and the results are not what they hoped for.

Regarding the post 2015 development agenda, Senegal stated that the health framework to be developed must reflect current and future challenges, and efforts must be made to sustain the progress made. Finally it recalled that equal and equitable access to health for all is extremely relevant and that Universal Health Coverage will help the African region in overcoming the inequalities.

On its part, Norway called on the need to remain focused to achieve the health related MDGs, and said that this is an important agenda to be completed. The USA also said they have made bilateral and multilateral efforts and fully intend to continue these contributions and that they expect MDGs to retain a central place in WHO’s priorities. The European Union (EU) pointed out that MDGs have made world a better place, and enabled MS to assess progress; at the same time the delegate highlighted that many progresses still need to be made reassuring that EU is strongly committed to achieve MDGs by 2015. Finally, EU stressed the need to focus on cross cutting challenges like SDH, water and sanitation and Health System Strengthening and the need to adopt a right based approach and good governance to achieve MDGs.

The Chinese delegation endorsed the Secretariat review on recent progress in health related MDGs and its analysis, and urged countries to do their utmost best in the next three years to move closer towards achieving the goals. Similarly, Mexico expressed its support to the draft resolution proposed by Norway, Nigeria and USA. The Chinese delegate also added that “Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is a target that may loose easily focus, so there should be a quantifiable measure for this issue’’.

Other MS endorsed the report and suggested that MDGs should be taken into account in the development of the post 2015 health framework as much remains to be done. One key suggestion was that UHC could be an overarching goal that covers both health and poverty reduction goals. In addition, several countries said that UHC is a powerful element in the post-2015 agenda, and that it will be at the heart of domestic health reform. They asserted that UHC is not an outcome in itself but a means.

 Non Communicable Diseases was another key health issues that received a lot of attention in the discussions; MS called for a focus on it in the post 2015 health agenda.

Civil Society organizations, including the Medicus Mundi International and the People’s Health Movement (PHM), made statements on the floor of the EB on the post-2015 agenda (the statement is available at the following link: http://www.ghwatch.org/sites/www.ghwatch.org/files/WHO%20EB%20132_MMI_PH...)

PHM comment post-EB

Watch this space

Other reports and comment 

IBFAN contribution to the Post 2015 development agenda discussion