Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4, 5, and 6 focus on improving health and have mobilized governments, businesses, and non-governmental groups to accelerate action for a healthier world.

Millions of lives have been saved, and significant progress has been made – but we still have more work to do. Here’s where the health MDGs stand.

Millennium Development Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality

Target 4.A: Reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.

  • Child mortality has been reduced by nearly 50% since 1990, when an estimated 12.6 million children died. Through solutions including expanded access to vaccines and bed nets, that number dropped to an estimated 6.6 million children in 2012. Immunization against measles alone has prevented nearly 14 million deaths in that time.
  • Despite this important progress, too many children still die of preventable causes, and the world needs to quicken its pace to meet the target.

Visit the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign and the Measles & Rubella Initiative to help expand access to life-saving vaccines.

Millennium Development Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health

Target 5.A: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio.

Target 5.B: Achieve, by 2015, universal access to reproductive health.

  • From 1990 to 2013, maternal mortality decreased by 45%. Yet nearly 800 women die every day from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, and we’re behind on MDG 5.
  • One of the best investments we can make to improve maternal health is to increase access to voluntary family planning. Right now, 222 million girls and women in the world have an unmet need for modern contraception.

Visit the Universal Access Project and Family Planning 2020 to learn more about efforts to expand access to voluntary family planning.

Millennium Development Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, Malaria, and Other Diseases

Target 6.A: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Target 6.B: Achieve, by 2010, universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for all those who need it.

Target 6.C: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the incidence of malaria and other major diseases.

  • Increased efforts to prevent and treat malaria saved the lives of 3 million children from 2000-2012. Tuberculosis treatment saved 22 million lives from 1995-2012. In 2013, nearly 13 million people had access to life-saving anti-retroviral treatment. And new HIV infections have dropped by 44% from 2001-2012.
  • To continue the progress we have made, we need sustained commitment and resources so more people have access to life-saving prevention and treatment services.

Visit the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign to join the effort against malaria.