South Africa’s Millennium Development Setbacks

Death toll of South African children under the age of five remains unchanged according to the 2010 report by an international group known as Countdown to 2015. Countdown 2015 tracks the progress of health coverage for maternal, newborn, and child mortality in reaching Millennium Development Goals, MDGs. The MDGs are internationally agreed on goals set by the Millennium Project and adopted by experts from the United Nations, IMF, OECD, and the World Bank.

South Africa is in danger of not meeting Goal 4 and 5. Goal 4 is to reduce child mortality of children under age five by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Goal 5 is to improve maternal health within the same time frame. AIDS related illnesses are the highest cause of all deaths in South Africa. Statistics South Africa, a government agency, estimate there will be 410,000 new HIV infections in 2010, with 10 percent being children.

Economic disparities also hinder the progress in achieving these goals. Mortality rates are four times higher for those living in poverty than for other children. Apartheid caused high poverty rates for 80 percent of the population. South Africa is still economically divided. Solutions are needed to end discrimination and inequality of healthcare for poor South Africans.

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