Yuichiro Nei writes:

According to World health report published in 1995, infant mortality has fallen by 25 per cent since 1980, from 82 per 1000 births to 62 per 1000, while deaths among children under 5 have fallen from 115 per 1000 births in 1980 to 87 per 1000 births today. The number of children under 5 dying from vaccine-preventable diseases - dropped from 3.7 million in 1985 to 2.4 million in 1993. Eight out of 10 children in the world have been vaccinated against these diseases. However, among improvements in world health, many problems have been reported. First, malnutrition contributes substantially to children disease and death but often goes unrecognized. Second, diarrhoeal diseases are responsible for a further 3 million deaths a year among children under age 5 in the developing world.

These problems are all in the developing countries. What can we do for these problem as a member of the Japanese medical community? For malnutrition, we must know and study that malnutrition contributes to children's disease and death. Many children in developing countries lack nutrition. So they don't have In 1990 more than 30% of the worlds children under 5 years were underweight for their age. As many as 43% of children in the developing world - 230 million - have low height for their age. Micronutrient malnutrition is estimated to affect at least 2 billion people of all ages, but children are particularly vulnerable. Maybe most of medical students in Japan don't know this data. This suggests most of medical students don't know the real situation of developing country health. So, medical schools in Japan must give students more opportunity to study and discuss these problems. I think it's a good way to understand many problems in world health. And developed countries must send developing country food and teach them how to grow plants for food. The cause of diarrhoeal diseases is unsafe water and poor sanitation coupled with poor food. The things we can do for this are send oral rehydration salts (only this can prevent many deaths from diarrhoeal diseases), give them food and teach them what is good sanitation and how to make clean facilities for waste. That may also prevent other infectious diseases.

I think the lack of knowledge is very bad for world health. So, we must study about what occurs in world health and how to develop good points and prevent bad points and give other people information. Lack of research prevents improvement in world health (especially with regard to health care in developing countries). We need research on how many children deaths were preventable, and how many parents of children are malnourished. (They are the ones who feed breast milk or foods to their children, so their own diets are important for children's nutrition.) We can make plans for food supplies and medical resources from these results. We can do effective things for health in developing countries.

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