Millennium Development Goals (MDGs): Role of Pharmacists in Achieving MDG - 4 & 5

Subhash C. Mandal

Introduction: About 5 lakh women die in pregnancy or during child birth every year throughout the globe. About 10 million children die before their fifth birthday and nearly 40% at the first month of their life. But evidence shows that at least 6 million of these lives can be saved each year with proven, cost effective interventions. A recent press release by Lancet indicates that ‘improvement of health facilities and better access to drugs via community health workers and village volunteers, could potentially mean 60,000 fewer maternal deaths across Africa per year from post-partum bleeding and sepsis.

Over 100,000 women die in India of pregnancy related causes every year. The Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) in India was 407 per 100,000 live births in 1998). The major causes of these deaths have been identified as hemorrhage (both ante and post partum), anemia, toxemia, obstructed labor, puerperal sepsis (infections after delivery) and unsafe abortion. State wise Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and under 5 Mortality Rate in India is given in the
Table 1.2 Due to some major initiatives taken by the Govt. under Reproductive and Child Health (RCH) programme there is some improvement in this sector, which is depicted in the Table 2.3
Un Initiative
In 2002, International communities under the leadership of United Nations pledged to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty.” They set up 8 goals for over all development, they encompass universally accepted human values and rights such as freedom from hunger, the right to basic education, the right to health and a responsibility to future generations and set up 2015 as the target date. This programme includes 190 countries having 10 regions.
The eight goals are:
Goal-1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (TARGET: Between 1990 and 2015, reduce by half, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 a day)
Goal-2: Achieve universal primary education (TARGET: Ensure that, by 2015, children everywhere, boys and girls alike, will be able to complete a full course of primary schooling)
Goal-3: Promote gender equity and empower women (TARGET: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015) 


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