Sounding off on how to improve global health outcomes

A health center staff educates women in Niger on breastfeeding, hygiene essentials and birth spacing. Photo by: Jean De Lestrange / ECHO / CC BY-ND

Over the last two decades, much progress has been made in improving global health outcomes, with people living longer and fewer children dying from preventable diseases.

So the challenge now is to accelerate progress.

It’s important to also leverage capabilities that weren’t available when world leaders committed to the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, according to Steve Davis, president and CEO of PATH.

“By building on the experience of the MDGs and tapping new sources of innovation, particularly in poorer countries, we are poised to change history,” Davis said in an exclusive editorial for #MDG500, a joint campaign by Devex and the U.N. Foundation outlining steps on how to spur affordable, lifesaving health innovations.

Devex readers agree that improving health in developing countries remains a challenge and needs continued support from the international community.

Writing his comment in French, Benjamin Muma said more efforts are needed to eliminate mother-to-child HIV transmission and bring AIDS to zero by 2030.

A reader named mlsoderberg voiced concern about the insufficient focus on global health of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals, noting that non-communicable diseases are rising in the developing world while efforts to reduce AIDS and improve maternal health still “need tending to.”

Mlsoderberg wrote: “Global health cannot be left out of the reformulated goals for 2030. Former Secretary-General Kofi Anann elegantly and concisely formulated the original MDGs. The same kind of concentration should condense the tentative 2015 goals.

Samuel Krakani, meanwhile, suggested oftentimes simple solutions to complicated programs are available.

“In fact, these simple ideas are just nature's own way of keeping the secret in the open.”

What do you think are some of the effective and affordable solutions to addressing global health problems? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Aug. 18, 2014, marks the 500-day milestone until the target date to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. Join Devex, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation, to raise awareness of the progress made through the MDGs and to rally to continue the momentum. Check out our Storify page and tweet us using #MDGmomentum.

About the author

  • Ma. Eliza Villarino

    Eliza is a veteran journalist focused on covering the most pressing issues and latest innovations in global health, humanitarian aid, sustainability, and development. A member of Mensa, Eliza has earned a master's degree in public affairs and bachelor's degree in political science from the University of the Philippines.