With the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) set to expire, global health will embark on a new course within the next year. Jonathon Simon, director of the Center for Global Health & Development at Boston University, discussed “Converging or Centrifuging: Is global health coming together or spinning apart?” at the first Global Health Seminar of 2014-2015, looking at progress so far and divergent visions for the future.
This is a golden age for global health that began with the Millennium Development Summit in 1990 and has seen the number of global health programs increase from 4 to 85, Simon said. With the MDGs in place, the world has seen a dramatic decrease in poverty from 3.1 billion people in poverty to 0.82 billion, Simon said. Mortality for children younger than five has been cut by almost two thirds and maternal mortality by a third. Malaria deaths are down; 6 million AIDS deaths were averted.
Despite remarkable progress, Simon identified persistent health disparities with, for example, only 10 percent of child deaths in upper-middle income countries. New goals are needed for post-2015, and the decisions made in the next year will determine the shape of global health for the foreseeable future. Listen to Simon’s lecture. Read more about Simon.