Intended for healthcare professionals

Rapid response to:


Are cost effective interventions enough to achieve the millennium development goals?

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 10 November 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:1093

Rapid Response:

Some people work hard to achieve the millenium development goals

EDITOR- Wibulpolprasert et al write in BMJ (1) that a series of
papers demonstrate that important cost effective interventions are not
being implemented adequately in developing countries, to secure the
fulfilment of the millennium goals (2). Previously the BMJ and others have
reported similar observations (3).

Reduction of the child mortality rate and control of major infectious
diseases are among the most important goals. Although there is room for
improvement in the progress to achieve these goals, time limited targets
are valuable since they help facilitate coordinated actions, mobilise
resources, and promote a sense of urgency.

Worldwide progress is, after all, being made toward decreasing
maternal and neonatal mortality, spread of HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis
(TB), and malaria. Women's health has become a priority in many developing
countries, nearly 1 billion people gained access to improved water sources
during 1999-2002, eradication of polio and measles is within reach,
nutrition-education campaigns have been initiated, and India is expected
to reverse the rise in TB incidence and halve TB prevalence and death
rates by 2015 (4, 5). All these advances, and the people that have ensured
them, are easily forgotten when the attention is continuously focusing on
the failing parts of the millennium goals.


1. Wibulpolprasert S, Tangcharoensathien V, Kanchanachitra C. Are
cost effective interventions enough to achieve the millennium development
goals? BMJ 2005;331:1093-1094.

2. Simwaka BN, Theobald S, Amekudzi YP, Tolhurst R. Meeting
millennium development goals 3 and 5. BMJ. 2005;331:708-9.

3. Evans DB, Adam T, Tan-Torres Edejer T, Lim SS, Cassels A, Evans
TG, et al. Achieving the millennium development goals for health: Time to
reassess strategies for improving health in developing countries? BMJ
2005;331: 1133-6.

4. World Health organization. (accessed 11.11.05)

5. Williams BG, Granich R, Chauhan LS, Dharmshaktu NS, Dye C. The
impact of HIV/AIDS on the control of tuberculosis in India. Proc Natl Acad
Sci U S A. 2005;102:9619-24.

Competing interests:
None declared

Competing interests: No competing interests

12 November 2005
Ulf R. Dahle
senior scientist
Norwergian Institute of Public Health