Day: September 29, 2010

Health’s Deadline: 2015

At the turn of the millennium, world leaders decided the new era should see the end of extreme poverty and other basic development problems. In order to facilitate a worldwide focus on this broad aim, they crafted the Millennium Development Goals to set up detailed goals to be achieved by 2015. Out of the eight goals, three deal directly with health: Goal 4 calls for a two-thirds reduction of child mortality, goal 5 focuses on a three-quarters reduction of maternal mortality and universal access to reproductive health, and goal 6 aims to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases while also providing universal access to HIV/AIDS treatment. How are we doing on those? The three health MDGs have seen the least progress out of all eight goals. According to the U.N. Development Programme, annual deaths of children under five worldwide has dipped below 10 million for the first time since data collection began, but certain countries, especially those of sub-Saharan Africa, have seen no change. Maternal mortality has only decreased by about 2.3 percent by U.N. estimations. Around 33 million people are living with HIV, mostly in developing countries, despite significant international attention and aid efforts. The international community has taken notice of this lack of progress. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon announced a new plan aimed at addressing problems with women’s and children’s health. This plan...

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Broadband – Public Infrastructure for U.S. Competitiveness

Twenty-second in average speed. Sixth in penetration. These statistics are the rankings of the broadband services in the United States compared to other countries around the world, according to Akamai’s most recent report. Surprised? Most Americans have adopted the mentality that the United States has been and will always be the world leader. But when it comes to the Internet, this is simply not the case. The world is rapidly changing because of technology and the Internet, but the United States is not adapting fast enough. According to the Speedmatters.org annual survey of Internet speeds, if the United States maintains its current rate of improvement, it will take 15 years for us to catch up to the internet connection speeds found today in South Korea. The Internet offers a faster, more efficient way for people to communicate, changing how most aspects of life and society operate. As stated in the federal government’s National Broadband Plan, the Internet “is changing how we educate children, deliver health care, manage energy, ensure public safety, engage government, and access, organize and disseminate knowledge.” Many, if not most, Americans fail to realize that we are rapidly falling behind other countries in Internet development. Countries around the world offer higher speeds, more availability, and lower costs. How do they do it? Is it because those countries can afford to supply more and faster Internet because...

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