Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Simple, Cheap Health Remedies Cut Child Mortality In Ethiopia

(Jan 01, 2014, (NPR))--Poor countries are starting to realize something that richer ones sometimes forget: Basic, inexpensive measures can have dramatic impacts on the health of a country. And they can save thousands of lives.

Take, for instance, the situation in Ethiopia. The country used to have one of the highest rates of child mortality in the world. "If you were a kid born in 1990 [in Ethiopia], you had a 1 in 5 chance of not surviving to your fifth birthday," says , who directs UNICEF's efforts in Ethiopia. Since then, the country has that survival rate by about 60 percent. "So [Ethiopia has made] a tremendous achievement in the space of two decades," Salama says.

This progress isn't a result of expensive international aid or the recruitment of foreign doctors into Ethiopia. Instead, the country has invested in simple, bare-bone clinics scattered around the country, which are run by minimally-educated community health workers.

Foos Muhumed Gudaal is one of 35,000 rural health extension workers in Ethiopia. She practices at a post in the village of Walgo Yar in the eastern part of the country. The clinic is a simple, cement building with only two rooms: one for Gudaal to live in and one that serves as a consultation room. There is no electricity. There are no lights. Read more from NPR »

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