7 November 2012

Researchers at The University of Queensland are working with international collaborators to develop a new set of global health goals.

The new goals will move beyond the current Millennium Development Goals (MDG), set by the United Nations in 2000 and scheduled for completion in 2015.

The MDGs – agreed upon by 189 nations – address eight global health imperatives including the eradication of extreme hunger, improving maternal and neonatal health, and combatting malaria and HIV/AIDs. They have impacted and influenced health policy and ignited debate around global development.

This new project, Go4Health, will focus on evaluating the success of the MDGs and exploring the process of determining the next global health goals.

The Go4 Health Consortium of 13 international partners, led by the Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, is funded by the European Union, and aims to establish a broad global consensus on global health post-2015. It will also work towards agreement of accepted national and international responsibilities, and ensure effective governance.

UQ's participation is funded by an NHMRC – European Union Collaborative Research Grants grant, and led by UQ’s Dr Peter Hill.

“With 2015 marking the end point for evaluation of the MDGs, discussion on the next formulation of goals for sustainable development has already begun, both within the health sector and more broadly,” Dr Hill said.

“Go4Health members will assess the current MDG approaches and consult communities on their perception of their essential needs and right to health," he said.

“We will also assess the capacity of developing countries to meet those needs and identify where international assistance (financial and technical) or cooperation may be needed.”

The UQ component of the project will analyse the politics surrounding global health and suggest more effective international governance to improve accountability.

Dr Hill, speaking from the Global Symposium on Health Systems Research in Beijing, said the health goal was likely to be framed as Universal Health Coverage, though there was considerable debate as to what might be included within that goal.

The Go4HealthWP4 is a collaboration with the Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp and 12 other international partners, including Georgetown University, Oxford University, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, BRAC University and other institutions.

Media: Dr Peter Hill, p.hill@sph.uq.edu.au or Vanessa Mannix Coppard, 0424 207 771, v.mannixcoppard@uq.edu.au