In 2000, eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were established and adopted by 189 heads of state in the United Nations Millennium Declaration. There are three years left before the 2015 deadline. Some countries have achieved their goals, while others have much work to do to reach the targets. After 2015, efforts must be sustained to achieve the original goals and to overcome new health challenges such as noncommunicable diseases, mental health disorders, injuries and the consequences of violence.
MDG 1 has a target of halving the proportion of people who suffer from hunger. Primary education (MDG 2) and empowering women (MDG 3) also have an indirect influence on health and lead to health gains.
Three MDGs relate specifically to health; to reduce child mortality by two thirds (MDG 4), to reduce maternal deaths by three quarters and achieve universal access to reproductive health (MDG5), and to halt and reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, achieve universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS by 2010, and halt and reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases (MDG 6).
MDG 7 includes a target of halving the proportion of the population without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. MDG 8 has target to provide access to affordable essential drugs in developing countries.