Current health issues and progress in Brunei Darussalam

Brunei Darussalam is currently working towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. To achieve the targets for the reduction of child mortality, which forms Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4), Brunei should reduce under-five deaths per 1,000 live births to four, and increase measles immunisation to 100 per cent by 2015. In 2012 under-five mortality stood at eight deaths per 1,000 live births and measles immunisation at 99 per cent.

With continued good progress, the country is likely to achieve MDG 4 by 2015.
The global MDG 5 target for maternal health is to reduce the number of women who die in pregnancy and childbirth by threequarters between 1990 and 2015. When applying this target to Brunei, the maternal mortality rate should fall to seven cases per 100,000 live births. In 2010 Brunei had 24 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births (an estimate from UN agencies/World Bank), indicating that changes must be made if this target is to be achieved. Part of the goal also stipulates that 100 per cent of births must be attended by a skilled health professional. In the period 2007-11 this figure stood at 100 per cent, so this target has already been achieved.

MDG 6 aims for a reduction in the prevalence of HIV, malaria and other diseases. Malaria has already been eradicated in the country.
Estimated TB incidences and mortality (when mortality data excludes cases co-morbid with HIV) have remained roughly the same since 1990. There is insufficient data from international agencies to confirm the country’s progress on this goal for HIV/AIDS. This suggests that significant improvements are needed to target TB prevention and enhance treatment if this goal is to be achieved.

The most recent MDG progress report for Brunei was released in 2010. Since this time, no further reports have been released by the government of Brunei or its donors which indicate what measures are being taken in the country to achieve these goals. In 2008 Brunei announced plans to implement a new strategic development plan, entitled Wawasan Brunei 2035 Beyond the Millennium Development Goals and High Human Development; however, there is no specific reference to health care development mentioned in the plan.

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