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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 5  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 60-61

Millennium development goals-5 and sexual and reproductive health in post-2015 United Nations global development goals

Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Himachal Pradesh, Chief Medical Officer Office, Free Lance Researcher in Epidemiology and Ayurveda, Kangra, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication13-Jan-2016

Correspondence Address:
Surender Nikhil Gupta
District AIDS Program Officer, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Chief Medical Officer Office, Kangra, Dharamshala, Himachal Pradesh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2278-344X.173881

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How to cite this article:
Gupta SN, Gupta N. Millennium development goals-5 and sexual and reproductive health in post-2015 United Nations global development goals. Int J Health Allied Sci 2016;5:60-1

How to cite this URL:
Gupta SN, Gupta N. Millennium development goals-5 and sexual and reproductive health in post-2015 United Nations global development goals. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2016 [cited 2022 Dec 3];5:60-1. Available from: https://www.ijhas.in/text.asp?2016/5/1/60/173881


Millennium development goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 are important for global health as a whole because they represent the mortality end points for women and children across specific diseases, nutritional and environmental risk factors, and more distal determinants including inequalities in economic resources and education. These goals account for 75 low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) and reflect for over 95% of maternal and child deaths.[1] The MDG 5 deals with maternal health and it include two targets: Reducing maternal mortality ratio by 75% and universal access to reproductive health. Progress has been made, but the goal is still a long way from being achieved.[2] For the post-2015 United Nations global development goals, one recommendation is that this goal be put on the agenda again, but in a more ambitious version: Ensure universal sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHRs). The World Health Organization estimated that the burden of disease due to sexual and reproductive ill health in 2004 represented 32% of the total for women of reproductive ages.[3] Maternal disorders are estimated to account for a total of 16,104,000 disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) lost in 2010 while neonatal disorders resulted in the loss of 201,959,000 DALYs.[4],[5] Here, we would like to point out that the leading causes of death among young women in low-income countries are complications from pregnancy and childbirth. It has furthermore been estimated that 98% of all stillbirths and 99% of all deaths occurring within the first 28 days of life takes place in LMIC.[6]

The right to control one's sexuality and reproduction and to have access information and services relating to partnerships, marriage, and sexual relations are the ground pillars to achieve universal access to health for women. The promotion of universal access to SRHRs will save lives and improve health. It has been estimated that approximately 70% of maternal deaths and up to 25% of under-five deaths could be averted by providing access to reproductive health care. Serving all women in developing countries who currently have an unmet need for modern methods would prevent an additional 54 million unintended pregnancies, including 21 million unplanned births,

26 million abortions (of which 16 million would be unsafe), and seven million miscarriages; this would also prevent 79,000 maternal deaths and 1.1 million infant deaths.[5] The promotion of universal access to SRHRs will also influence the advancement of many of the existing MDGs and is an important catalyst for global development.

Reduction of poverty: Birth spacing enables families to invest resources in each child, for example, food and health, and it results in fewer demands on households, community, and environmental resources. Ensuring women's right to control their own sexuality and reproduction gives them the option of pursuing education and employment, and thus, contribute to developmental and economic progress.

Universal access to primary education: Fewer children means families and governments have more resources to spend on education per child, ensuring that more girls will receive an education.[7]

Gender equality and empower women: The promotion of SRHRs is a vital step to achieve women's equality. Still to achieve the overall goal, we would propose the following sub-goals: Improve neonatal care; provide universal access to family planning; eliminate unsafe abortion; reduce sexually transmitted infections; and promote healthy sexuality and reduce harmful practices. SRHR has increasingly been put on the international agenda. Family planning was recognized as a human right in CEDAW 1979, and other aspects are also increasingly seen as human rights concerns. However, this is an area of health where great cultural and political opposition remains. A major challenge will be to ensure that health systems do not compartmentalize and exclude SRHR.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Bryce J, Black RE, Victora CG. Millennium development goals 4 and 5: Progress and challenges. BMC Med 2013;11:225.  Back to cited text no. 1
UN. Millennium Development Goals and Beyond 2015. Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health. United Nations; 18 October, 2013.  Back to cited text no. 2
UNFPA. Framework for Action on Adolescents and Youth. Opening Doors with Young People: 4 Keys. New York: UNFPA; 2007.  Back to cited text no. 3
UN. A New Global Partnership: Eradicate Poverty and Transform Economies Through Sustainable Development. New York: United Nations; 2013.  Back to cited text no. 4
Murray CJ, Vos T, Lozano R, Naghavi M, Flaxman AD, Michaud C, et al. Disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) for 291 diseases and injuries in 21 regions, 1990-2010: A systematic analysis for the global burden of disease study 2010. Lancet 2012;380:2197-223.  Back to cited text no. 5
Sed T. Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights: In Defence of Life. A Background Document. Copenhagen: ENRECA Health Working Group on Sexual and Reproductive Health; 2012.  Back to cited text no. 6
UNFPA. Sexual and Reproductive Health for All. Reducing Poverty, Advancing Development and Protecting Human Rights. New York: UNFPA; 2010.  Back to cited text no. 7


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