October 6, 2010 — HSPH Dean Julio Frenk is a member of the MDG Advocacy Group, a task force of global leaders charged promoting the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) — global targets for eradicating poverty, hunger, and disease by 2015. The MDGs include halting and beginning to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS and reducing by three quarters the maternal mortality rate.
The group (Dean Frenk is pictured in back row, third from left), who were chosen by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, participated in a summit at the United Nations on September 20-22 aimed at accelerating progress on the MDGs. The event launched a new $40 billion Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health. Watch a video of the group’s meeting at the summit.
“The MDG have been successful in mobilizing political will and coordinating action to address the many dimensions of extreme poverty in developing nations. They have also served as a major instrument for expanding mutual accountability,” Frenk said. “My invitation to become and MDG Advocate and member of this illustrious group is a testament to the important contributions that SPH makes to the international community.”
In an editorial on The Huffington Post co-authored by the MDG Advocacy Group, Frenk and his colleagues wrote that there was much progress to celebrate — “over four million people are currently receiving antiretroviral drugs to treat AIDS; eliminating mother to child transmission of HIV is within reach by 2015” — but there is still much work to be done to expand support for maternal and child health, accelerate the momentum to combat AIDS, TB, and malaria, and prepare health systems to face future challenges.
The group wrote another editorial in conjunction with the October 4-5 meeting at the United Nations to discuss funding the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria for the years 2011-2013. Calling for replenishment of the Fund, they wrote: “The Global Fund has been one of the world’s most successful partnerships to fight three killer diseases and to expand primary health systems in low-income countries.”
Donors at the conference made a US $11.7 billion financial commitment which will allow the Global Fund to further support countries as they work to meet the MDG’s related to health, according to the Global Fund website.
Photo: Courtesy of The Lancet