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More Ambitious Health Targets Needed To Achieve SDG 3

Devex: Opinion: We need more ambitious global health targets
Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

“…A lack of ambition in how we measure progress toward … [Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 targets, which include ending preventable under-five deaths and achieving universal health coverage with access to affordable and essential vaccines for all,] will not only give us a false assessment of how well we’re doing, but could also hamper our chances of success, putting the lives of millions of the most vulnerable children at risk in the process. Keeping track of how many children receive two doses of a measles-containing vaccine [(MCV2)] is currently the SDG 3 progress indicator being considered for these two targets. … The problem is MCV2 alone simply doesn’t go far enough. … We need to be more ambitious. Even choosing one of the powerful new vaccines that are making a difference in child mortality would make more of a difference. But going even further and making the child the focal point of immunization monitoring would be nothing short of revolutionary. Not only will it help radically reduce childhood mortality, but it will represent a significant step toward the WHO’s goal of achieving universal health coverage, which aims to ensure that everyone has access to affordable, quality health care — no matter who they are or where they live — and that includes ensuring every child has access to the most cost-effective health intervention and is fully immunized” (8/25).

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