Great Expectations: The Future of Public Health after 2015
As Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be ending in 2015, the world is waiting to see new agenda on health as well as on other sectors of development. With fewer than a 1000 days remaining for achieving the targets of MDGs, it is very much justified to ask: What do we want for health in the post-2015 era? So 2015 is a year of immense significance for public health; this is the year of new transition.
The United Nation Development includes 11 thematic arena namely health, inequalities, education, energy, water, food, population, environment, governance, employment and conflict. A recently published Lancet article focuses on the global consultation on health which was co-led by the WHO and UNICEF, in collaboration with the Sweden Government and others. The consultation is comprised of 2 panels: Panel 1 includes 5 specific questions and panel 2 tries to discuss on the proposed framework for health goals in post-2015 era. In the panel discussion, the consultants answered 5 questions regarding the lessons learnt from health-related MDGs, priority health agenda for next 15 years, best indicators and targets for health, and finally about the effective involvement of the key stakeholders.
Almost none of them want to forget the MDGs. They all agree upon further inclusion of MDGs in the post-2015 agenda; more focus where the MDGs have not been achieved, and set up of high ambitions where MDGs have been achieved. Especially elimination of preventable maternal & child deaths and creation of an AIDS-free, and TB-free generation would be an ambition to thrive. Unfortunately MDGs had not given significant priority in combating Non-Communicable Disease (NCD). But as a result of transition of diseases from communicable to non-communicable & chronic; NCD morbidity and mortality are on high.
To reduce this huge burden of NCD maximum efforts should be given to this. Reduction of NCD risk factors and reduction in the morbidity and mortality related to cardiovascular diseases, cancers, chronic respiratory diseases and diabetes would be the major concerns of post-2015 health agenda. Another important issue is universal health coverage and access; provision of comprehensive, equitable, accessible and quality healthcare with financial protection ensured. One of the main objectives of universal health coverage is to refrain people to go down below poverty line due to health socks or catastrophic health expenditures.
Finally, the health communities all over the world need to articulate; confidently and clearly, the contribution of health to sustainable development. The global consultation has laid an important and strong layout for further works on the health goals in post-2015 years.
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