Archive forApril 1st, 2002 | back to home
The Economist praises (registration required) the remarkable success of a UNICEF booklet, Facts for Life, that provides basic health information targetted at some of the world’s poorest. It’s a simple step but a vital one. As the Economist points out:
Each year nearly 11m children die from easily preventable causes before reaching their fifth birthdays. Ignorance is often the cause. Many parents, for example, do not know that breast milk is the only nourishment an infant needs in the first six months. Some 1.5m children might be saved each year if they were not also given polluted water. Many people believe that drinking liquids makes diarrhoea worse, when someone suffering from it should actually drink as much liquid as possible. It is safe to immunise a child who has a minor illness or disability, or who is malnourished. Many parents, and even health workers, do not know this. The symptoms of pneumonia are often overlooked, with fatal results. Staunching a cut with mud, a traditional remedy, often causes infections. Two-thirds of students in their last year of primary school in Botswana, according to one survey, thought they could tell if someone was infected with HIV simply by looking at her.