Let's toast to the MDGs: How 24 million children in Africa escaped death

Between 2000 and 2015, the under-5 malaria death rate in Africa fell by 65%, translating into 5.9 million lives saved.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), launched last weekend, are expected to shape the global agenda on economic, social and environmental development for the next 15 years. They are to replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which reached their deadline this September. 

Mail & Guardian Africa thinks two words sum up the best outcomes of the MDGs - “lives saved”. To say farewell we quickly round up some of the concrete and critical successes in lives saved over the past fifteen years under the MDGs:

The decline in under-five mortality rates since 2000 has saved the lives of 48 million children under the age of 5, half of which are in Africa.

These 24 million children — nearly equivalent to the total population of Angola — would not have survived to see their fifth birthday if the under-five mortality rate from 2000 to 2015 had remained at the 2000 level.

Between 2000 and 2015, twenty-one sub-Saharan African countries reversed a rising mortality trend or at least tripled their pace of progress compared to the 1990s.

In order of increasing rate of progress, they are: Somalia, Lesotho, Central African Republic, Mauritania, Angola, Zimbabwe, Cote d’Ivoire, Namibia, Gabon, Cameroon, Burundi, South Africa, Botswana, Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso, Swaziland, Kenya, Zambia, Congo, Senegal, and the fastest decline was in Rwanda.

Between 2000 and 2015, the under-5 malaria death rate in Africa fell by 65%, translating into 5.9 million lives saved in Africa thanks to interventions such as the scaling up of insecticide-treated nets, and more effective malaria drugs,

The number of AIDS-related deaths among adults and children in Africa has been on the decline since 2005, dropping from 1.8 million in 2005 to 1.2 million deaths in 2012. By June 2014, 13.6 million people with HIV were receiving antiretroviral therapy (ART), up from about 800,000 in 2003.

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