Global consultation on health in the post-2015 development agenda yields bold TB targets
6 May 2013 - Geneva - A six-month global consultation on health has concluded that the current health millennium development goals (MDGs) should be used as a spring board for accelerated progress and greater ambition in the post-2015 agenda.
Citing the threat of drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) and the opportunities offered by the recent arrival of rapid diagnostic tests, the report includes a proposed new TB target to guide progress after 2015: zero new TB infections, zero TB deaths, zero TB suffering and zero TB stigma and discrimination.
The global consultation was co-convened by the World Health Organization and the United Nation Children’s Fund and supported by the governments of Botswana and Sweden. The final report summarises the views of multiple United Nations, nongovernmental and government agencies, as well as those of individuals, gathered through online and face-to-face discussions. Its publication follows the High-Level Dialogue on Health in the Post-2015 Development Agenda held in Gaborone, Botswana on 4-6 March 2013.
"The MDGs have been hugely successful at driving progress in health, education and poverty reduction over the past fifteen years. But there is a danger that we get complacent. Years of underinvestment has led to the emergence of strains of TB that are resistant to all but a few drugs," said Dr Lucica Ditiu, Executive Secretary of the Stop TB Partnership. "I am very pleased therefore to see consensus building on an ambitious new set of targets that will re-energize both donors and countries."
In addition to proposing potential targets on diseases such as TB and HIV, the report recommends that the post-2015 health agenda should:
- Include specific health-related targets as part of other development sector goals;
- Take a holistic, life-course approach to people’s health with an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention;
- Accelerate progress where MDG targets have not been achieved and set more ambitious targets for the period to come;
- Address the growing burden of NCDs, mental illness, and other emerging health challenges.
The report has been submitted to the UN High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda and will be sent to the UN Secretary-General, as well as distributed in other fora to inform the on-going discussions on the post-2015 agenda.