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Uganda growth goals on course

By Vision Reporter

Added 10th October 2007 03:00 AM

UGANDA has made significant progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a progress report released yesterday has indicated.
The major concern though, was the country’s performance on child mortality and maternal health. According to the report, the Government set a targ

UGANDA has made significant progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a progress report released yesterday has indicated.
The major concern though, was the country’s performance on child mortality and maternal health. According to the report, the Government set a targ

By Milton Olupot

UGANDA has made significant progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a progress report released yesterday has indicated.

The major concern though, was the country’s performance on child mortality and maternal health. According to the report, the Government set a target of reducing infant mortality to 78 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2002, but it was not attained.

The date for achieving the next target set by the Government of 68 deaths per 1,000 live births has been shifted from 2005 to 2009.

“If the country is to remain on course to meet the MDG target of 31 deaths per 1,000 live births by 2015, the mortality rate must reduce by more than half in six years which seems unattainable,” the report says.

To meet the MDG target, Uganda will need to reduce its mortality rate from 435 to 131 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2015. Over the period 1995-2000 maternal mortality has stagnated at about 505 deaths per 100,000 live births.
MDGs, an eight-point target for countries to achieve by 2015, were launched by the UN in 2000 under the Millennium Declaration.

The other targets are eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equity, empowering women and ensuring environmental sustainability and developing global partnerships for development.

The report showed that income-poverty fell from 56% in 1992/93 to 34% in 1990/2000 and then rose to 38% in 2002/03 before declining again to 31% in 2005/06.

On promotion of gender equity and women empowerment, the report states that the gender enrollment gap in primary school has narrowed down tremendously, while at secondary school level, the proportion of girls’ total enrolment improved.

It says Uganda is using the policy of affirmative action to reduce gender imbalances in several areas such as higher education, governance, politics, and management.

There has been a decline in HIV infection from a peak of 18% in 1992 to the current level of about 6%.

The international target is to halt and begin to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS. “Uganda seems to be well a head of this target,” the report observes.

The report also stated that achievement of environmental sustainability by 2015 is possible but adds that Uganda does not have specific targets on the MDG of developing a global partnership for development.

The United Nations Development Programme resident representative, Theophane Nikyema, said the goals were achievable.

“There is need for a deliberate attempt by the Government to ensure that the resources are targeted towards achieving these goals. There are many inspiring experts in this country and these goals can be achieved.”

Finance minister Ezra Suruma while launching the report at Hotel Africana in Kampala yesterday, commended the progress made but said more effort was needed on health. “Child mortality and maternal care are still a challenge in the whole of Africa and those are the areas that need extra effort.”

Suruma said the MDGs were in line with the Government’s Poverty Eradication Action Plan, which covers the objectives, strategy and the over-reaching policy framework for achieving economic development.

“As we move into the future, the Government will strengthen policy measures and institutional frameworks for dealing with other challenges.”

He cited a priority programme to implement the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan in the North, which has fallen behind the rest of the country on all MDGs.

Uganda growth goals on course

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