Countdown and MDGs 4 and 5

In September 2000, building upon a decade of major United Nations conferences and summits, world leaders came together at United Nations Headquarters in New York to adopt the United Nations Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets — with a deadline of 2015 — that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight MDGs form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. They have galvanized unprecedented efforts to meet the needs of the world’s poorest.

The Millennium Development Goals

Goal 1:  Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

Goal 5: Improve maternal health

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development

Countdown to 2015, a collaboration among individuals and institutions established in 2005, aims to stimulate country action to improve maternal, newborn, and child health, by tracking coverage for interventions needed to attain MDGs 4 and 5 — and, in addition, parts of Millennium Development Goals 1c (by tracking trends in underweight, wasting and stunting in children under five years of age), 6 (by tracking prevention and treatment of malaria and prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV), and 7 (by tracking improved access to safe water and improved sanitation). Through this unified effort, national and international policy makers, program implementers, development and media partners and researchers are working together to:

  • Summarize, synthesize and disseminate the best and most recent information on country-level progress towards high, sustained and equitable coverage with health interventions proven to save women’s and children’s lives
  • Take stock of progress in maternal, newborn and child survival
  • Call on governments, development partners and the broader community to be accountable if rates of progress are not satisfactory
  • Identify knowledge and data gaps that are hindering progress
  • Propose new actions to achieve the health-related Millennium Development Goals, in particular MDGs 4 and 5