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Sunday 18 December 2005
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AFRICA: MDGs on AIDS and child mortality won't be met

[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]

JOHANNESBURG, 23 August (PLUSNEWS) - A World Health Organisation (WHO) report warned on Monday that most developing nations will not meet the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on HIV/AIDS, child mortality and maternal health.

The report, 'Health in the Millennium Development Goals', said that without stronger health systems, large numbers of people would continue to die every year from mostly preventable diseases.

Deaths included almost 11 million children under five, about one million people succumbing to malaria and more than 500,000 women passing away during pregnancy and childbirth. The AIDS pandemic claimed three million lives each year.

WHO director-general Lee Jong-wook said in a statement, "Providing universal access to broad-based health services could save several million children's lives each year."

MDG progress was particularly slow in sub-Saharan Africa because, as Jong-wook pointed out, "The evidence so far suggests that while there has been some progress, too many countries - particularly the poorest - are falling behind in health."

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