During a speech made in connection with the observance of United Nations Day in Asmara, Amna Nur-Hussein, the Minister of Health stated Eritrea has achieved three of the eight UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ahead the 2015 target date.
The three MDGs Eritrea has achieved are all health-related: reducing infant child mortality by two-thirds (MDG 4); improve maternal health (MDG 5); and combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other diseases (MDG 6).
Speaking at the occasion, Christine N. Umutoni, the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Eritrea, lauded the country’s achievements in the health sector and sees it as a model for other nations to follow.
“HIV prevalence rate in Eritrea below one percent while most African countries have rates above 10%,” She said. “Eritrea needs to give Africa and the rest of the world lessons on how these successes were achieved.”
According to the World Health Organization, Eritrea has declined malaria infections by 90%; is on track to reduce maternal mortality by 75%; declined HIV/AIDs prevalence by 49% to 0.8%; improved access to potable water to 85% and has nearly doubled its adult literacy rates to 80%.
Part of Eritrea’s early success can be attributed to its partners. Among the most notable is Dr. Lisa Materson, the former co-host from the American TV show “The Doctors”, who opened an OBGYN residency in the country.
The MDGs are a comprehensive framework endorsed by 189 countries at the UN Millennium Summit in September of 2000. They were introduced as a road map for developing nations to reduce poverty, hunger, ill-health, improving education, and environmental sustainability by December 31, 2015.
|Eritrea||Millennium Development Goals||Progress|
|MDG 1||Eradicate Extreme Hunger and Poverty||Off Track ✗|
|MDG 2||Achieve Universal Primary Education||On Track ✓|
|MDG 3||Promote Gender Equality & Empower Women||On Track ✓|
|MDG 4||Reduce Child Mortality||Achieved ✓|
|MDG 5||Improve Maternal Health||Achieved ✓|
|MDG 6||Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria & other Disease||Achieved ✓|
|MDG 7||Ensure Environmental Sustainability||On Track ✓|
|MDG 8||Develop a Global Partnership for Development||On Track ✓|
Eritrea is on track to reach seven of eight MDGs by December 31, 2015
(Charts source: Eritrea – Immunization, Vaccination, and Malaria Control: Past, Present, and Future )
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