Home >politics >policy >Maternal and child mortality, sanitation remain key concerns: MDG report

New Delhi: Despite improvements, there is much that needs to be done in the areas of environment sustainability, hunger, chronic under nutrition, child and maternal mortality and sanitation, highlights The Millennium Development Goals Report 2014 released on Monday. The report summarized the progress made by countries towards achieving the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDG) related to health, environment, social equality and poverty till June 2014.

Progress environmental sustainability is not enough, points out the report, as global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) continued rise those in 2011 were almost 50% above their 1990 level. The targets for eradicating extreme hunger and poverty will also be missed despite the proportion of undernourished people in developing regions having decreased from 24% in 1990–1992 to 14% in 2011–2013.

Due to slow progress in the past decade, and no progress in some countries, meeting the target of halving the percentage of people suffering from hunger by 2015 will require immediate additional effort.

Twenty-five percent of all children under the age of five years were estimated to be stunted which would also require focus, according to United Nations, despite a decline from 40% in 1990. India had the highest number of under-five deaths in the world in 2012, with 1.4 million children dying before they reached the age of five.

The mortality rate for children under age five is 48 per thousand live births in 2012, but preventable diseases are the main causes of under-five deaths. The United Nations as urged immediate focus in this area. Worldwide, almost 300,000 women died in 2013 from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. The report drew attention towards the mostly preventable maternal deaths and that countries need to give more attention to the area.

While 32% of the world’s extreme poor reside in India, 17% of the maternal deaths also take place in India. The report also highlighted that 2.5 billion people did not use an improved sanitation facility and a billion people still resorted to open defecation, which is a huge health risk and requires immediate attention.

“We need bolder and focused action where significant gaps and disparities exist," says United Nations Secretary General Ban-Ki-Moon who released the report. “Member states are now fully engaged in discussions to define sustainable development goals (SDGs), which will serve as the core of a universal post-2015 development agenda," he added

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