UNICEF -- the United Nations children's Fund -- has waged a revolution, and this year's "State of the World's Children" report shows how successful this peaceful child-health revolution has been.
UNKNOWN LOCATION: SV Young boy being vaccinated.
COSTA RICA: GV Health worker arrives in village
GV Costa rican baby being weighed.
BERKET-CHATAS, EGYPT: GV Nurse gives young girl oral rehydration mixture. (2 SHOTS)
GV Health workers putting drops into children's eye. (2 SHOTS)
SV Disabled child on crutches.
PHILIPPINES: CU PAN Woman breastfeeding baby.
UNITED NATIONS: SV UNICEF Executive James P. Grant speaking. (SOT)
UN AND VARIOUS LOCATIONS: SV & GVs UNICEF Executive Director's voice continues over shots of paramedic weighing babe; Nepalese mountain area workers in field. Nepalese health visitor with women and child, child being fed with rehydration mixture. (SOT) (7 SHOTS)
LESOTHO; SV Child is vaccinated against serious childhood diseases, at special vaccination clinic. (2 SHOTS)
PHILIPPINES: SVs woman giving birth in delivery room; mother and father with newborn baby. (2 SHOTS)
COLOMBIA: SV Woman takes baby out from under sweater; instead of being placed in incubators, many low-birthweight babies are held directly against mother's skin, regulating baby's body-temperature and making breast-milk more accessible.
NEPAL: SVs Health workers with mothers and children at clinic. (2 SHOTS)
UN: SV UNICEF Executive Director James P. Grant speaking to reporter. (SOT)
GRANT: (SEQS 8 & 9) "There is a vast growing consensus that, as a result of recent technological and social advances, the world now has a capacity through low financial and political cost means, to so improve the wellbeing of hundreds of millions of children that it will cut the death rate in half, the disability rate in half and slow population growth as well, in a period of eight, ten, twelve years. A veritable child-survival revolution."
REPORTER: (SEQ 14)"Are your resources directed to the most neediest or to those who could survive with only minimal help?"
GRANT:"UNICEF focuses its assistance on the poorer countries of the world and within those countries are the poorer families. And frankly, virtually all poor families can be helped. When we talk about, for example, the possibilities of avoiding seven to eight million deaths a year within ten years using these methods, what we are really saying is, we expect one to two hundred million children to be much healthier, than they would have otherwise been, because a dead child is really the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger problem of ill health. UNICEF has been a remarkably effective agency in recent years both in the terms of the 'louder' emergencies, the disasters such as lebanon, Beirut in the last year, and Kampuchea, 1979, 1980, but also a very efficient agency in dealing with the response to what we call the 'silent' emergency -- these more than 40,000 small children that die each day, as a result of being trapped in both poverty and under-development where their mothers cant' read or write; there's no ready access to health facilities."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: UNICEF -- the United Nations children's Fund -- has waged a revolution, and this year's "State of the World's Children" report shows how successful this peaceful child-health revolution has been. The 1984 UNICEF report brings forth many stark statistics. In the last twelve months, the equivalent of the entire under-fire population of the United States has been wiped out. On a european scale, the number of children who have died in the developing world this year is the equivalent of the combined young-child populations of Britain, France, Italy, spain and West Germany. Despite these grim figures, the UNICEF report encourages optimism for the future thanks to four low-cost breakthroughs which it says could save the lives of millions of children every year. UNICEF has documented the effects of the global recession on those least able to care for themselves -- the very poor, the illiterate, the very young and the aged. If the poor families have to cut back on basic necessities such as food, fuel and health care, then it is the minds and bodies of growing children which suffer most.
UNICEF pins its hopes for the future of the world's children in four basic points of health care, which, if implemented by governments and health authorities will drastically reduce the number of child victims of disease and poverty. the six major diseases of childhood kill an estimated five million children each year, disabling five million more. a mass immunisation programme, such as that in progress in Lesotho, has been recommended by UNICEF.
A simple cure has now been found for diarrhoea, the single biggest cause of child-deaths in the modern world. Oral rehydration therapy (ORT) could replace the only other effective treatment, t he intravenous feeding of a saline solution, which is beyond the physical and financial reach of those who most need it.
UNICEF encourages health workers to closely monitor children's growth rates, as part of routine medical care. Malnutrition can therefore be identified at very early stages, and food supplements or medical help can be administered.
UNICEF has long championed the benefits of breastfeeding, as an hygienic and nutritious necessity for every baby. More than 100 countries have begun campaigns to promote breastfeeding and restrict the marketing of artificial substitutes, many of which are used without clean, hot water, in unhygienic conditions, where mothers are unknowingly risking their babies' health, and in some cases, lives. The UNICEF Executive Director, Mr. James P. Grant.
The fact that a major improvement in the health and wellbeing of the world's children can now happen, does not mean that it automatically will. UNICEF has stressed that the four-point programme for mental and physical health is a low-coast one and it will be the financial considerations which either encourage or deter governments from implementing such schemes. for the rest of the 1980s, predict UNICEF, it is unlikely there will be any significant increase in the real resources available for improving child welfare. Maintaining progress will therefore depend upon making existing resources even more effective. The potential for progress is not enough; the challenge now, urges UNICEF, is to make it reality.