Margaret Chan

Margaret Chan is Director-General, World Health Organization.

In 2000, the international community endorsed the Millennium Declaration, which sets out an historic commitment to eradicate extreme poverty and improve the health of the world's poorest people by 2015.

In 1978, the Declaration of Alma-Ata at the International Conference on Primary Health Care launched primary health care as a route to better health for all. The ambition was bold. The Declaration of Alma-Ata responded to a world characterized by vast and largely avoidable differences in the health status of populations, and mapped out a strategy for reducing these gaps through fundamental changes in the way health systems were organized and care delivered. As the Declaration of Alma-Ata argued, enlightened policy that made fair access to health care an explicit objective could raise the level of health within populations, enabling people to lead socially and economically productive lives, and thus driving overall development.