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Good intentions may hamper progress in pursuit of global reproductive health and rights
Date:11/28/2011

London, November 28, 2011 - Serious global discussions have begun in the lead-up to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) deadline of 2015. Governments and international agencies are asking what has been achieved, what still needs to be done and how best to proceed after the deadline. Against this backdrop, a new paper published in the November issue of Reproductive Health Matters finds that "quick impact" strategies, which may have solved some problems, have created others.

The paper, 'Sub-Saharan Africa and the health MDGs: the need to move beyond the quick impact model' is lead authored by Fabienne Richard of the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium. It finds that emphasis on achieving quick impacts has sometimes diverted resources away from the neediest patients. The three health MDGs have not benefited equally from quick impact interventions, and the very poorest people have not benefited as much as those in more privileged socioeconomic brackets.

"Evidence shows that most countries are making progress, but that few are managing to achieve inclusive and equitable progress," Richard and co-authors write. "Instead, most of the gains are taking place among the top socioeconomic quintiles, while the lower quintiles are seeing little or no progress." Poverty and the alleviation of its negative consequences are the main aim of the MDGs.

Richard explains how such a situation has come about: "Since 2000, donors have largely supported selective quick win/quick impact approaches to health development which have allowed the picking of several 'low-hanging fruits' in many settings." Looking to the future, she says, "further progress will depend largely on developing medium-term and long-term strategies that pay more attention to the development of health systems."

In another paper published in the same issue, 'Perpetuating power: some reasons why reproductive health has stalled,' Berit Austveg, Senior Advisor t
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Contact: Pathika Martin
pmartin@rhmjournal.org.uk
44-207-267-6567
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

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