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Issues

Health

A girl in Pakistan is vaccinated.

Health – a human right

There are few things that every­body wishes for, wherever they are in the world, but good health is one of them. Although there have been major improve­ments, almost seven million children die every year before their fifth birthday, many of diseases that could have been prevented. Every day pregnancy and child­birth cost some 800 women around the world their lives, because no appropriate medical care was available. The United Nations estimates that 1.7 million people died of AIDS in 2011. And many million people are affected by other communicable diseases. The violation of the human right to health is a humanitarian disaster for the de­vel­op­ing coun­tries concerned and a moral disaster for the rest of humanity. more


Working together to fight HIV and AIDS

It is more than 30 years since the discovery of the human immuno­deficiency virus (HIV) and it has now spread across the whole of the world. Today some 34 million people are estimated to be carrying the HI virus. Very many of those affected live in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where in some coun­tries more than 23 million people were infected in 2011. The disease is not only a disaster in human terms, but in social and economic terms too, and jeopardises sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment in the coun­tries affected. Containing HIV and AIDS is one of the biggest challenges currently facing de­vel­op­ment policy. more


Our response to the Ebola epidemic

Fighting infectious diseases such as Ebola is one of the central aspects of German development cooperation. In that context, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) gives special priority to building the capacity of national health systems. The current Ebola crisis shows that this kind of approach is very important and appropriate. more


Sexual and reproductive health and rights

Sexual and reproductive health means being able to lead a safe and satisfying sex life that is beneficial to health. It means the right to freedom from sexual coercion and sexual violence. But it also means being well informed and free to take one’s own decisions in regard to family planning, for example whether and when to have children and how many. The term applies to all the stages of life: childhood, youth and old age. Promoting sexual and reproductive health and the associated rights are im­por­tant instruments of German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion. more


Strengthening health systems

Many de­vel­op­ing coun­tries and emerging economies do not have sufficiently efficient health systems. Large parts of the popu­la­tion – especially the poor and those living in rural regions – do not have access to adequate and appropriate medical services where they live. Establishing an efficient health system is an im­por­tant prerequisite for a coun­try’s de­vel­op­ment. That is why strengthening health systems is one of the priority areas of German de­vel­op­ment co­op­er­a­tion in the health sector. more


BMZ web portal: Healthy DEvelopments

The BMZ web portal showcases Germany's commitment to health and social protection in partner coun­tries worldwide. It covers news from German-supported programmes and relevant conferences as well as innovative methods and tools, good practices and topics for discussion by health and social protection exports. And for each of its news items, tools and videos, it invites visitors to comment, thus providing a platform for lively debate on current challenges and promising practices for partner countries' health and social protection systems. more


BMZ glossary

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