UNICEF to Focus on Preventing Diarrhea and Pneumonia among Poor Kids

July 2, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. adequate (adj.) 
[ad-i-kwit] – enough to meet a requirement
Example: The government wants to ensure that the village has an adequate supply of food.

2. populous (adj.) [pop-yuh-luhs] – having a large population
Example: Cities are usually populous because most jobs are found there.

3. oral (adj.) [awr-uhl, ohr-] –taken in through the mouth; relating to the mouth
Example The oral medicine he bought must first be chewed before it can be swallowed.

4. target (v.) [tahr-git] – to directly aim an action at someone or something
Example: The massage therapy targets painful muscles in the body.

5. vaccine (n.) [vak-seen] – a medication that increases the body’s immunity or protection against a disease
Example: Babies receive different vaccines to prevent getting some diseases when they grow up.

Read the text below.

According to a report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 2 million poor children worldwide could be saved each year with adequate treatment for diarrhea and pneumonia.

Diarrhea and pneumonia cause 29% of deaths among children under the age of five, with 90% of deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. About half of these deaths happen in five poor and populous countries-- such as India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan and Ethiopia.

Furthermore, in 75 countries with the highest number of deaths, less than 1/3 (one-third) of children with pneumonia receive antibiotics. In poorer countries, only 1/3 of children with diarrhea use oral rehydration salts or drinks to prevent water loss in the body.

Because of the high death rate caused by pneumonia and diarrhea, UNICEF plans to increase medical aid which targets the two diseases.

UNICEF hopes to better distribute vaccines against the causes of the diseases such as the influenza virus and the rotavirus.

The report also stated that breastfeeding during the first six months of a baby’s life can give children protection from pneumonia. Children who were not breastfed are 15 times more likely to die from pneumonia.

UNICEF added that adequate nutrition, safe drinking water, hand washing with soap, and basic cleanliness are also essential to prevent these diseases.

The organization believes that by 2015, child deaths from all causes could be reduced by 13% if only poor children could avail the same level of treatment and health practices rich families enjoy.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Aside from a lack of money for medical treatment, why do you think poor countries have the highest number of cases of disease and death?
·         How do you think a large population affects the health of people?

Discussion B

·         What do you think are the best ways to prevent diseases?
·         What could be some reasons why people are not always able to take care of themselves or their health?


July 2, 2012