A Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) report has indicated that Member States have met almost all of their health targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) but Public Health Minister, Dr George Norton, is saying Guyana is lagging behind the other countries.The report, which was presented to Health Ministers across the Region at the 55th Directing Council of PAHO, shows that the targets related to eradicating extreme poverty and hunger (MDG1), reducing child mortality (MDG4) and ensuring environmental sustainability (MDG7) were all achieved between 1990 and 2015. MDG6 (combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases) was partly achieved, and progress was made toward MDG5 (improving maternal mortality), although the goal was not met.Acting Chief of PAHO’s Special Programme on Sustainable Development and Health Equity, Kira Fortune, said “as the result of 15 years of efforts, the countries of the hemisphere significantly improved the health of their populations”.Fortune highlighted that today, people in the Region are living longer, healthier lives, thanks to the MDGs and they are at less risk of dying from malaria, and babies are more likely to survive childbirth and reach five years of age.To promote human development, the world’s nations endorsed the MDGs in 2000 at the United Nations, making a commitment to tackle important issues for the future of humankind, such as the eradication of extreme poverty, environmental conservation, and the protection and promotion of people’s health, among others. One of those goals was to improve maternal health and reduce it by three-quarters between 1990 and 2015.However, Dr Norton stated that Guyana has failed to meet two of its health MDGs – maternal health and neonatal care.“Other countries might have achieved their goals but we have not yet we are getting nearer. We have managed to reduce infant mortality from 37 incidences to seven. And we plan on reducing it further. We might be struggling with maternal deaths but our fingers are crossed and we are actively addressing it,” he said.As of December 30 2015, Guyana had recorded 17 maternal deaths. However, the maternal mortality ratio has decreased from 270 per cent in 1990 to 86 per cent in 2012. Therefore, in order to achieve its target, Guyana would have to reduce its maternal mortality rate to 67.5 per cent by the end of 2016.