GHIC 2018: Global Health & Innovation Conference
April 14-15, 2018
Yale University, New Haven, CT

Unite For Sight's 2010 Global Health & Innovation Conference

Blog Report By Indu Voruganti, Unite For Sight Global Health Leadership Intern

Keynote Address By Sonia Sachs

An audience of over 2000 eagerly received Dr. Sonia Ehrlich Sach’s keynote address. Dr. Sachs, MD, MPH, is the Director of Health for the Millennium Villages Project at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. Dr. Sachs presented the advances in the Millennium Village Project health system, an approach to ending extreme poverty in communities in Sub-Saharan Africa. She evaluated the feasibility of reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which are eight objectives that address the problems of poverty, health, gender equality, and disease. At the village level, the project focuses on growing more food, providing better access to primary health, education, water, and business development. According to Dr. Sachs, the cost of getting out of the poverty trap is approximately $120 per person per year. A breakdown of this cost indicates that this is feasible if villagers contribute $10, the government contributes $30, partners contribute $20, and the remaining $60 comes from a combination of village members, local and national governments, and partner organizations.

Dr. Sachs then went on to describe the MDGs that the project has targeted:

The progress made thus far by the Millennium Villages Project has been impressive in promoting sustainable, scalable, community-led progress. Dr. Sachs closed by saying that with the continued support of local and global partners, the project can continue to be successful and make further progress in addressing each of the Millennium Development Goals.