Kyouhei Kondo writes:

The number of children under 5 years who died in 1993 more than 12.2 million equals the entire populations of Norway and Sweden combined of such deaths in developing countries, the great majority could have been avoided if those countries enjoyed the same health and social conditions as the developed countries. So, many diseases in the developing countries are preventable, and by prevention, the great number of children in the developing countries would not die.

Malnutrition is the biggest problem in developing countries. Micronutrient malnutrition is estimated to affect at least 2 billion people of all ages,but children are particularly vulnerable. For example, iodine deficiency and vitamin A deficiency cause babies and children serious health problems.

Another problem, diarrhoeal diseases resulting from unsafe water and poor sanitation coupled with poor food-handing practices are responsible for a further 3 million deaths a year among children under age 5 in the developing countries. Many of the deaths from diarrhoea could be prevented by using oral rehydration salts, which cost just U.S. $0.07 dollars an average.

A third problem is that many children are dying from vaccine preventable diseases. There have been improvements in child health, and 1993 saw the number of children dying from vaccine preventable diseases, such as measles, tuberculosis, pertussis, poliomyelitis, decrease, but around 24 million children under 5 years are still dying every year from such diseases.

What can we do to improve these situations in the developing countries ? First,governments and people in the developed countries can collect money for the developing countries and send money to these countries.

Second, we can send people of the Japanese medical community to the developing countries for medical education. This will help the physicians in these countries to advance their skill, and this will help the people in these countries to recognize their situations: malnutrition, poor sanitation.

And, I think that the most important thing for people in the developed countries is having greater concern with these situation in the developing countries. Many people in developed countries should become more sensitive to the lack of progress in health matters within the developing countries. And we medical students should remember that we will be doctors, not only for our own country, but for people all over the world.

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