Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Good News: Presidency Reported On MDG Progress, Said Goal 1 Is Achieved

The Presidency on Monday announced that Nigeria has surpassed the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 1 - reduction of hunger, and reported on the progress in achieving other MDGs, specifying areas where a lot more needs to be done.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on MDGs, Dr. Precious Gbeneol, said this at the briefing for State House Correspondents after the presentation of an assessment of the monitoring of the MDGs in Nigeria by the presidential committee. The meeting followed the recent award to Nigeria by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) on the achievement recorded in hunger reduction.

“Government is pleased that key targets of Goals 1, 3 and 6 have been achieved. And there are potentials to achieve more. With Goals 4, 5 and 8”, she added. “We have been able to reduce hunger from the 1991 prevalence of 19.3, to 8.25, well ahead of the 9.6 prevalence rate set target of 2015," Gbeneol said.

Gbeneol said that a significant progress has been made during the last two years and the government is planning to scale up interventions particularly in the areas of funding, deepening multi-sectoral partnership and synergy, and also deepening partnership with the international development partners.

She added that Nigeria had also improved the target on gender equality by ensuring that gender equality is maintained in primary and secondary schools.

Gbeneol also reported on the achievements reached in fighting HIV/AIDS:

“We also been able to do well on Goal 6, by halting and reversing the HIV/AIDS trend n the country. The HIV prevalence rose from 1991 to 2001, from 1.8 to 5.8 this was halted and began to reverse. The current prevalence of the country now is 4.1 as at 2010."

As to infant mortality rate, MDG boss said it is currently 94 per 1000 live births. The government's projections to achieving the MDGs is 64 per 1000 and for the intervention that were put in place such as immunisation, the oral dehydration therapy, and zinc supplementation, she added.

Besides, Gbeneol assured that mortality rate will further drop just as maternal mortality is also falling, with a downward trend from 1,000 to 100,000 live births in 1990, to 800 per 100,000 live births.

“We have been able to collaborate with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the Federal Ministry of Health to put in interventions like the Village Health Worker Scheme, the Midwives Service Scheme and the Community Health Extension Scheme as well as family planning commodities done with the Health Ministry. We are beginning to see the effect”, she said.

She stressed, however, that FG needs to work harder in water and sanitation because the prevalence rate for the country is 57.4 for water and 33.9 for sanitation.

Also yesterday, President Goodluck Jonathan urged African leaders to make a greater effort to achieve more significant improvements on the continent’s human development indicators. He said this is the only way to maintain political independence of the continent.

MDGs are eight international development goals that were officially established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000. All 189 United Nations member states have agreed to achieve these goals by the year 2015. The goals are: 1. Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, 2. Achieving universal primary education, 3. Promoting gender equality and empowering women, 4. Reducing child mortality rates, Improving maternal health, 5. Combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases, 6. Ensuring environmental sustainability, and 7. Developing a global partnership for development.

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