by Le Phuong
HANOI, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- China was commended for contribution to achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs) in the Western Pacific Region, Dr. Shin Young-soo, director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Committee for the Western Pacific Region, said in a recent interview with Xinhua.
Dr. Shin, who attended the Regional Committee's 63rd meeting in Hanoi last week to review WHO's work in the region, said that with the deadline for attainment of the MDGs in 2015 being only three years away, wide disparities between and within countries need to be urgently addressed if the goals are truly to benefit the most vulnerable in society.
Shin said health-related MDGs were on the agenda for intensive discussion at the meeting and these included high prevalence of communicable diseases, violence and injury prevention, tropical diseases, tobacco control, malaria eradication, HIV prevention and treatment, health financing, measles elimination and other related issues.
China, which accounts for over 20 percent of the global population, has done quite well in addressing the problems contained in the MDGs, Shin said.
"Our regional goals and statistics have now been upgraded because China's huge population is doing very well. Other countries in the region would greatly benefit from China's achievements," Shin said.
Shin said that even before the regional endeavor for MDGs was set in 2000, China has already achieved great strides in accomplishing the MDGs.
According to Dr. Shin, as an emerging world power and an economic powerhouse, China has invested billions of U.S. dollars in improving the living condition of its people, particularly on health issues.
Shin said that among developing countries, China has been the first to eliminate some of the most serious infectious diseases, including variola and poliomyelitis. China also successfully responded to SARS in 2003, controlled the contraction of avian influenza to humans in 2004, and ensured that no infectious disease outbreak occur in the wake of the 2008 great earthquake in Sichuan province, Shin said.
According to Shin, disease prevention and control organizations at the central, provincial, city and county levels in China have been established, along with prevention, control and treatment systems for serious infectious diseases such as HIV and AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, schistosomiasis, and hepatitis B.
"China is always a leading and most important country in our region," Shin said.
Shin said that they have found that out of the 37 countries represented in the forum, 32 countries were already in the advance stage of eliminating measles.
"This is the remarkable achievement. The remaining five countries would need a couple of years but certainly we will achieve our goal of totally eliminating measles,"Shin said.
At the UN Millennium Summit in September 2000, 189 member states unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration. Subsequently, a universal set of development goals and targets was agreed and this is what is now known as Millennium Development Goals. With specific targets using 1990 as the baseline and 2015 as the target year, the MDGs are a clear, comprehensive and authoritative set of global development goals.