Welcome to the U21 MDG 4 HEALTH website

We are one of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UNMDG) projects in the Health Sector. This initiative is being developed by the Universitas 21 Health Sciences Group, one of the collaborative group of the network for international higher education Universitas 21. Our purpose is to enable academic institutions that train health sciences students to develop an educational strategy on MDG training and education for health professional trainees.

This strategy needs to reflect the values, ethos, and pathos behind the MDGs, and can be flexibly adapted into the educational institutions’ existing curriculum. Over time, this strategy will lead to an increase in students’ attitude, knowledge, and skills in MDG implementation, increase in trainers/faculty members, and an evaluation framework that demonstrate this strategy’s output and contributions to achieving the MDG targets by 2015 and beyond.

Over time, we hope, this will lead to an increase in students’ attitude, knowledge, and skills in MDG implementation, increase knowledge and commitment in trainers/faculty members, and let us develop an evaluation framework that demonstrates this strategy’s output and contributions towards achieving the MDG targets by 2015 and beyond.


The Issue

With the view to bringing the United Nations into the 21st Century and to accelerating development throughout the changing world, in September 2000 Heads of State gathered at the UN and ushered in the millennium by adopting the UN Millennium Declaration. Endorsed by 189 countries, the Declaration was translated into a roadmap setting up goals, now known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), to be reached by the year 2015.

The MDGs agreed on eight major goals, which subsume 21 subsidiary targets and 60 indicators that represent real needs and international commitments to tackle and reduce poverty, hunger, ill-health, gender inequality, lack of education, lack of clean water, and environmental degradation. It is evident that such a people-based and socially relevant programme concerns the health sciences and the health profession in an extensive way, and indeed the health component of the MDGs is particularly important in the overall effort, cutting across many of the varied goals and targets. To meet the commitments, therefore, the health professions and the international community must ensure the necessary education, training, skills and organizational capacities, if the goals are to be achieved by 2015. The present proposal for an educational programme is based on this premise.

MDGs have less than optimal uptake in education and training by academic institutions based on a 2005 survey of NGOs. It is important to engage academic institutions as educational partners for MDGs training to build capacity, accelerate knowledge translation, and help transform the next generation of health professionals to adopt the MDG values in their future practices.

In order to meet our society´s needs, we need not only to educate competent health professionals, but also instil in them the values of professionalism, ethics, human rights, law, and team based practice, towards patient centred care. In the global picture, achieving the MDGs is very much in synchrony with all these values and thus synergize well with health sciences training and education.

Our initiative

In order to meet the 2015 MDG targets and enlist the academic institutions that provide health professional training to participate in the education and training of MDGs, and also use this opportunity to imbue global values of professionalism, ethics, and social responsibility in the health professionals of tomorrow, we propose to develop an educational strategy on MDG training for adoption and flexible implementation into the curriculum of the health professional training programme. This strategy not only highlights the MDGs and their corresponding targets and indicators and how they came to be, but also engages the students to envision how their own global and local endeavours contribute to the ethos and attainment of the MDGs for the benefits of all global citizens. In turn, this educational strategy will also help document the efforts and activities amongst the global academic institutions towards the 2015 MDG targets through an UN MDG oriented evaluation framework.

See the 2008 U21 HSG declaration.


This educational strategy is grounded on and guided by the following fundamental values:


Our objective is to put together case studies intended to contribute to training of health sciences students in their awareness, understanding, internalization and personal adoption of the MDGs in their local and global practice and learning. Our proposed training case studies have the following objectives for the intended primary audience, who will be health sciences students (both pre – licensure and post – licensure) and faculty members:

Attitudinal Objectives


Knowledge Objectives


Skills Objectives