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Programs for development of health in poor countries not effective

Millennium Development Goals Memorandum signed between 189 countries from Developed and developing countries five years ago for providing better health conditions to people in poor countries have not attained any effective in providing health relief to these people had been reported in the Journal British Medical Journal//.

If these countries are to make meaningful progress on the strategy aims - the Millennium Development Goals - most will have to raise funds or be forced to reallocate monies from other programs, argue the authors, all experts from the World Health Organization.

The Millennium Development Goals were agreed between 189 of the world's major western nations and much of the developing world. Those specifically on health were designed to take action on five key fronts: reducing mother and infant deaths, tackling child poverty, preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS, and controlling malaria and tuberculosis.

Current approaches must change if the goals are to be achieved more quickly. In curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS, treatment with first-line antiretrovirals has now become at least as cost effective as some of the well known preventive interventions, such as voluntary counselling and testing, says the authors. Educating sex workers, mass media messages, and treating people for other sexually transmitted infections, should also be the focus of new campaigns.

Mothers and newborns must have both basic and emergency medical services as a priority, and all children should get measles immunization and micronutrients as a matter of course, say the authors.

The fight against malaria demands a much larger injection of resources than currently available, and substantial investment is also needed to meet targets on reducing tuberculosis, they argue.

The papers, which examine the cost-effectiveness of health policies in Africa and South-East Asia, preview a two-day Paris summit next week (14-15 November 2005) t o look at why the Millennium Development Goals have not been met.

Both Africa and South-East Asia have such a huge degree of need, and so many underused interventions, that it is difficult to redeploy resources currently being spent on achieving the goals. But policy should shift to escalating the most cost-effective activities, say the authors. "These results represent the best evidence currently available. We hope that this series contributes to not only improving population health with the available resources, but to raising more funds for health as well," they conclude.

Source: Eurekalert

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