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July 26, 2006

Reducing the Burden of Communication Disorders in the Developing World: An Opportunity for the Millennium Development Project

Author Affiliations

Authors Affiliations: Institute of Child Health and Primary Care, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria and the Institute of Child Health and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust, University College London, England (Dr Olusanya); Department of Otorhinolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY (Dr Ruben); and WHO Collaborating Centre for the Prevention of Deafness, Department of Audiology, Bispebjerg Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark (Dr Parving).

JAMA. 2006;296(4):441-444. doi:10.1001/jama.296.4.441

At the Millennium Summit in September 2000 in New York, leaders of 189 countries, including 147 heads of state and government, adopted the United Nations Millennium Declaration, committing their nations to a global partnership to work toward 8 development goals.1 This project has since emerged as the global priority for resource allocation to the developing world through 2015. Three of the 8 goals—“to reduce child mortality,” “improve maternal health,” and “combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases”—are directly related to health, while the others—“to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger,” “achieve universal primary education,” “promote sex equality and empower women,” “ensure environmental sustainability,” and “develop a global partnership for development”—are indirectly linked to health. Eight of the 18 targets and 18 of the 48 indicators are health related. However, given the myriad problems confronting most developing countries, it is not surprising that some conditions received less attention and others were overlooked or forgotten outright.