Pacific countries urged to pick up the pace for MDG deadline
With 500 days to go Pacific countries are urged to pick up the pace for the 2015 MDG deadline.
With about 500 days remaining before the Millennium Development Goals finish, countries are being encouraged to make a last effort to achieve them.
A critical concern for the Chief of Health and Nutrition for UNICEF Pacific, Dr Naawa Sipilanyambe, is goal number four - to cut child mortality by two thirds.
She says there has been mixed success in Pacific countries.
Dr Sipilanyambe spoke with Koroi Hawkins about the ongoing efforts to reduce child deaths in the region.
DR NAAWA SIPILANYAMBE: The time for action is now, due to the fact that before December 2015 we have approximately 500 days. And within this 500 days, based on the rate of progress of countries, there are some countries that could actually, still fast track implementation to reach their targets. As you know, when you are running a race you can lag behind or you can run a bit faster. What we are advocating is that countries need to run a little bit faster, by making sure that they create the enabling environment, their policies and legislations are passed to improve the health outcomes for children and most of the cost effective high impact interventions are actually put in place. So this could be done within this 500 day period.
KOROI HAWKINS: Post 2015, after 2015 what is going to happen or where are we going with all these programs?
DNS: Post 2015, already through this, promise renewed, we have already developed a strategy that looks at what we are doing post 2015. So this is very much aligned towards the sustainable development core targets, its looking at the horizon of 2035 and within that period of 2035 we hope that some of these interventions, that have proven to be cost effective and high impact are continued to be delivered. But at the same time, we also use the lessons learnt through this period between 1990 and 2015 to make sure that, you know, the countries make less mistakes this time. But from their lessons they can be able to now fast track implementation and be a bit more focused in terms of reaching the children that need their, their help the most.
KH: Finally if you have anything to say about the other goals, just briefly if you can, where they are at?
DNS: Overall to say, the Pacific Island countries, are very committed inside the governments are very committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and I think at the moment almost all the countries have signed towards the promise renewed, the last ministers of health meeting they reinforced or they recommitted towards achieving the millennium development goals not only for children but women and other, and adolescents. So we from UNICEF, are very happy with this commitment and we hope that even within this 500 days and then post 2015, this commitment will actually, you know, continue and we can work towards reducing the suffering of children in the Pacific.
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