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Top 10 Facts About UNICEF
UNICEF is an organization which assists children in over 190 countries. The organization focuses on saving the lives of children, defending children’s rights, and helping them fulfill their potential as individuals. Founded in December of 1946 in an effort by the United Nations to support children in post-war Europe and China, UNICEF has been active ever since.

Here are the top 10 facts about UNICEF and how their impact has been felt around the world.

Top 10 Facts About UNICEF

  1. UNICEF is an organization which helps children receive necessary vaccinations. The organization gathers vaccines for 40 percent of children globally. Annually, this amounts to roughly three billion doses of vaccines.
  2. Globally, UNICEF is the largest buyer of mosquito nets which can be used to protect children from harmful insect bites. Malaria is an example of a disease which can be preventable through the use of a mosquito net. In 2006, UNICEF purchased 25 million of these mosquito nets.
  3. In 2006, UNICEF procured 10 million-plus malaria treatments. ACT, which stands for pyronaridine- artesunate, is a form of therapy which has been shown to be just as effective as other drugs for treating Malaria. The WHO recommended that this type be used to treat P. falciparum malaria.
  4. UNICEF embraces a wide variety of social issues. Among these are the protection of children, girls education, HIV/AIDS, immunization, malaria, nutrition, South Sudan child soldiers, and WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene).
  5. In April of 2005, UNICEF released a publication which documented the organization’s work between 1995-2005. Titled ‘A Pivotal Decade’ the publication covered the 10-year span during which UNICEF helped ensure that millions of children survive who could have been lost. The publication explores how UNICEF is well-equipped to handle its main goal; striving to give each and every child a better future.
  6. According to UNICEF, human trafficking has been reported in all 50 US states. The highest rates have been reported in CA, FL, NY, OH, and TX. These are the statistics reported by UNICEF in one of their fast facts publications.
  7. UNICEF’s overarching goal is to achieve worldwide equality. Especially in the lives of children afflicted by illness, hunger, or war, who cannot attend school and receive a proper education as a result. There are also instances where children are prohibited from attending school. Specifically in the lives of young girls, which UNICEF works hard to support.
  8. Vaccines for diseases such as polio and typhus cost one dollar or less per 1 (unsure of currency) per vaccination. Despite the price, many still cannot afford these vaccines which prevent dangerous, if not deadly, diseases. UNICEF gives out free vaccinations to one in three children worldwide.
  9. When first launching in 1946, UNICEF concentrated primarily on supplying food, clothes, and medicine to young children and mothers in post-war Europe, China, and Palestine. Beginning in the early ’50’s, UNICEF sought to create more long-term goals for developing countries. As a result of these efforts, UNICEF constructed health stations in third world countries and began starting projects to ensure children and adolescents attend school.
  10. UNICEF’s long-running history of seeking to make the world a better place has resulted in them putting vast amounts of money towards public health efforts. The organization reportedly sets aside 80 percent of its funds towards public health initiatives.

Since their launch 73 years ago, UNICEF has become one of the most well-known and renowned organizations dedicated to public health and the well-being of children. These top 10 facts about UNICEF are just a few of this organization’s incredible accomplishments. Striving to make the world a better place since December of 1946, UNICEF shows no sign of slowing down.

Jacob Nangle
Photo: Flickr

foreign aid helps the U.S.Giving, especially in the form of foreign aid, has shown to cultivate meaningful relationships among people and countries, some that lead to rewarding trading agreements amid other benefits. Recent history has particularly exhibited how foreign aid helps the U.S., which is a crucial consideration in the political dialogue surrounding the current foreign aid budget.

Foreign Aid Helps the U.S. with Trade

One valuable return the U.S. has received in its giving of foreign aid to other developing countries has been the increase in American jobs as well as trade. Foreign aid is much like an investment; it helps to forge the foundation needed for low-income countries to build up and become middle-income, sustainable states. Here are some examples:

  1. After World War II, U.S. foreign aid to Japan helped recover Japan’s infrastructure and highly contributed to the success of American companies like Microsoft.
  2. The U.S. now trades and does business with former recipients of foreign aid, such as South Korea, Brazil, Mexico, Vietnam and Thailand.
  3. The President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) successfully slowed down the AIDS epidemic and countries that received such aid have, in turn, consumed more American goods. Exports rose 77 percent in Tanzania, 189 percent in Zambia and 241 percent in Ethiopia.
  4. PEPFAR is one of the strong determinants of increases in the trade of pharmaceuticals.
  5. Foreign aid has attributed $46 billion more in U.S. exports and 920,000 more jobs in the U.S.
  6. In 2011, 44.6 percent of U.S. exports went to developing countries.
  7. In Tennessee alone, more than $33 billion in goods and services were exported to foreign countries in 2014 and this trade, in turn, supports over 22 percent of jobs, 830,000 local jobs to be specific.

Foreign Aid Helps with Health

Foreign aid helps the U.S. in preventing global epidemics that could otherwise be much worse. While assisting developing countries with their challenges in health, the U.S. also does its duty to minimize any possible health issues and diseases from traveling overseas or across borders to the U.S. There has been a great number of such instances, such as:

  • The U.S. was the largest funder of a number of health workers stationed in Nigeria with the original goal of polio eradication. The workers were later reassigned and succeeded in countering the infamous Ebola epidemic.
  • The PEPFAR program has helped stop the spread of AIDS by supplying life-saving medicines to over 14 million people.

Foreign Aid Helps with National Security

One of the non-negotiable benefits the U.S. reaps from its giving of foreign aid to developing countries is an improvement in national security. To prevent a third world war, the U.S. created what is now the modern development assistance program to avoid further instability in Europe.

Stability in developing countries is key in preventing future political issues from unfolding. The U.S. has defense agreements with 131 out of the 135 countries that it provides foreign aid to.

The importance of international aid lies in economic benefits, such as trading proliferations, as much as health and national security. As evidenced above, it is clear that there is truth in the fact that foreign aid helps the U.S. just as much as it helps other nations.

– Roberto Carlos Ventura
Photo: Flickr

working to end Lassa fever in NigeriaLassa fever is a growing epidemic for many Nigerians. The World Health Organization reports that 72 Nigerians have died from the disease while 317 others are infected. Lassa fever has also spread to 18 Nigerian states since its outbreak in January. However, many entities are working to end Lassa fever in Nigeria.

  1. ALIMA Treats Lassa Fever Patients
    In January 2018, the Alliance for International Medication Action (ALIMA) commenced a rapid emergency response to Nigeria’s Lassa fever epidemic. ALIMA also supported the rehabilitation of a 38-bed treatment center for patients in Owo.
    “The goal is to catch cases early, and improve the chances of survival for those who become infected,” said Guillaume Le Duc, ALIMA’s Lassa fever coordinator.
  2. The Cross River’s Sensitization Against Lassa Fever
    On Jan. 30, 2018, Nigeria’s Cross River state increased its sensitization and awareness campaign against Lassa fever, hoping to prevent further outbreaks of the disease. Dr. Inyang Asibong, Cross River’s commissioner for health, said the campaign was necessary since two cases of Lassa fever were recorded from migrants who entered Cross River. Asibong also gave nose masks, disposable gowns, gloves and other protective equipment to the state’s health workers.
  3. Gombe’s Investment to Prevent Lassa Fever
    On Jan. 31, 2018, Nigeria’s Gombe state earmarked ₦20 million for preventing the outbreak of Lassa fever to its people. Dr. Kennedy Ishaya, Gombe’s state commissioner for health, said the funds were part of the amount set aside for Gombe’s Rapid Response Committee (RRC). Gombe’s RRC will use the money to protect the state’s people from Lassa fever and other diseases.
  4. Hand Washing Helps Prevent Lassa Fever
    On Feb. 5, 2018, UNICEF and the Imo state’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency (RUWASSA) sensitized Nigerians on how hand washing can prevent Lassa fever.
    “Medical reports have it that the simple act of washing hands constantly with soap can reduce infections by 50 percent,” said Nkechi Okorocha, wife of the Imo state Governor Rochas Okorocha. Chika Edom, the RUWASSA program manager, said that hand washing is part of UNICEF’s initiative to keep Nigeria’s people alive and healthy.
  5. Nigeria’s Proposal for a More Established CDC
    On Feb. 8, 2018, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) asked the National Assembly to pass a bill that would financially help the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (CDC) treat Lassa fever cases. Dr. Mike Ogirima, the NMA president, was displeased from poorly-equipped ambulances transferring Lassa fever patients to the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital in Edo. Though the bill went through first and second readings at the house level, it has yet to be passed into law.
  6. The World Health Organization Works to Contain Lassa Fever
    On Feb. 20, 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced it was working to end Lassa fever in Nigeria. The WHO deployed staff to support Nigeria’s government agencies. The WHO’s representatives are also helping rapid response teams contain Lassa fever in the Ondo, Ebonyi and Edo states.
  7. Redeemer University Could Eliminate Lassa Fever
    On Feb. 20, 2018, Redeemer University revealed its capacity to contain and eliminate Lassa fever through research activities.
    “We are behind the scene, providing solutions to Lassa fever in the country,” said Debo Adeyewa, the university’s vice-chancellor. Adeyewa also revealed that the Lassa fever outbreak was being managed at the Edo state’s Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital.
  8. Governor Obaseki’s Work to Contain Lassa Fever
    On Feb. 22, 2018, Governor Godwin Obaseki said that no case of Lassa fever had been reported at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital for the past two weeks. Governor Obaseki’s administration purchased and deployed equipment to the hospital and is working to end Lassa fever in Nigeria.
    “That no death has been recorded since our intervention goes to show that we read the signs correctly, mobilized skilled manpower and tackled the challenge head-on,” said Crusoe Osagie, Obaseki’s special adviser on media and communication strategy.
  9. The U.K.’s Work for Nigeria
    On Feb. 27, 2018, the U.K. sent two epidemiologists, a logistician and other experts to help Nigeria contain its Lassa fever outbreak. The U.K.’s public health rapid support team will also provide Nigeria with research assistance.
    “Viruses like Lassa Fever do not respect borders, and it is only right that we share our expertise with countries facing serious outbreaks around the world,” said Public Health Minister Steve Brine.

While Many Nigerians continue to be infected with Lassa fever, efforts to treat and save patients’ lives will not stop. The World Health Organization, the U.K. and other entities are working to end Lassa fever in Nigeria and could inspire more parties to help. Supplying the country’s hospitals with necessary medical equipment to treat patients will also play a role in helping Nigeria control Lassa fever and other diseases.

– Rhondjé Singh Tanwar

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Latin America, behind only Haiti. Recently, the World Bank cautioned that poverty is still rampant in Nicaragua and that it “is still one of the least developed nations in Latin America, a country where access to essential services is still a daily struggle.”

Indeed, as of 2014, the national poverty rate was at 29.6 percent. What’s more, though overall poverty in Nicaragua has dropped significantly in the past 12 years, extreme poverty (earning less than $1 a day) is reported to be on the rise, going from 7.6 to 9.5 percent between 2012 and 2013. What are the causes of poverty in Nicaragua? Why does an already struggling country only seem to be getting worse, according to international studies and statistics?

According to a survey cited by the Tico Times, one reason for recent rises in poverty could be lowered export prices on agricultural goods. Much of the country is dependent on temporary farm work and agricultural products such as coffee, and as prices dip, jobs are lost and people struggle to gain a foothold as labor opportunities become harder to find.

Another reason may be stagnant enrollment in education. UNICEF estimates that around 500,000 children between the ages of three and 17 are not enrolled in any formal education. To add to the problem, the number of school-aged children in Nicaragua is at roughly two million, equal to a third of the country’s total population.

However, the causes of poverty in Nicaragua are beginning to be addressed. According to the Tico Times, “the government earmarked $1.3 billion – more than half its official budget – to finance anti-poverty programs and free health and education services. Venezuelan aid also has helped fund programs for the distribution of roof sheeting, financial credits, low-cost housing and food packages for the poor.”

What’s more, the 2017 World Happiness Report noted that Nicaragua had made the largest gains in overall happiness out of 155 countries analyzed.

To trace all the causes of poverty in Nicaragua is a complicated job. As the government continues to fund anti-poverty programs and foreign aid continues to pour in, it seems Nicaragua is on the precipice of moving away from the abysmal poverty rate it now has.

It will take more than mere happiness to combat poverty, but the groundwork has been laid. As global poverty rates continue to fall and markets continue to rise, Nicaragua just may be able to pull itself out of poverty.

Joseph Dover

Photo: Google

 

Pakistan's IPD ProblemIn recent years, Pakistan has become home to one of the world’s largest population of internally displaced persons (IDPs). A decade-long militant insurgency; many military operations in the northwest and natural disasters have displaced millions of people from their homes. As a result, Pakistan’s IDP problem is the greatest humanitarian crisis in the country’s history.

According to the South Asia Terrorism Portal (SATP), “a total of 5.3 million people in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) have been displaced as a consequence of counter-terrorism operations since 2008, some of them multiple times.” Of these, 4.8 million to have returned, and the rest have yet to go back to their homes.

The state of Pakistan, with the help of international humanitarian groups, has responded to the crises. However, it has not fully met the post-displacement challenges of the displaced and returnees. Particularly, five things about Pakistan’s IDP problem warrant the immediate attention of national government and international aid agencies:

  1. Education: Tens of thousands of displaced children have their education disrupted as a result of religious militancy and military operations in FATA. Large numbers of them were still out of school after displacements because the state had no proper arrangements to help them resume their education. Before the start of operations, non-state armed groups (NSAGs) had destroyed many schools in the region. They only left behind madrassas (religious seminaries). Girls’ education was particularly affected. In 2012, the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan’s (TTP) attempted an assassination of teenage education activist Malala Yousafzai in Swat valley, aiming to scare girls away from school. The need for education after IDPs’ return is only greater, as most schools have been either destroyed or used as home shelters that need repair.
  2. Lack of Basic Necessities: A quarter of IDPs did not have access to basic necessities, such as food, clean drinking water and shelter. Most of them lost around a third of their food supplies during the displacement. Poor strategy and coordination have made it worse for relief operations to provide for the basic needs of IDPs. Moreover, the state’s rehabilitation services, as most IDPs have returned or are in the process of returning to their homes, are less than encouraging. The state provides a resettlement allowance that surely helps, but not enough to repair the destruction left behind. Most importantly, FATA is the poorest region in Pakistan. The area needs a comprehensive development plan, as it has been historically ignored.
  3. Second Class Citizens: The IDPs not only faced harsh circumstances in camps, but they have also received very unwelcoming attitude from some host communities. In the recent past, the provinces of Punjab and Sindh have opposed the entry of IDPs from FATA because of the alleged fear of terrorists among them. Moreover, once the IDPs entered and settled temporarily, some host communities and even security agencies in Punjab labeled them as a potential threat of terrorism. The alienation of one of the largest ethnic groups, Pashtuns, only made it more difficult for IDPs to find work and live in peace. This double standard regarding the treatment of refugees is striking to watch; many in Pakistan are angry at the West for its treatment of refugees from Muslim lands.
  4. Health: Healthcare in Pakistan is the holy grail for the poor in normal circumstances. Mass exodus due to conflicts and insecurity have made it impossible for the displaced persons to attain basic health care. The most common problems among IDPs are malaria, skin infections, diarrhea and colds. Very few mothers and children received assistance to fulfill their nutritional needs. Health services, though available in the area, already overstretched before the IDPs’ arrival.
  5. Insecurity: Instability and recurring violence is another challenge of Pakistan’s IDP problem. Despite the army’s claim of clearing the region from militants, the events on the ground indicate a different reality. Many FATA locals are suspicious of the army’s role in eliminating militants. The U.S. has also blamed Pakistan for playing a double-game by supporting groups like the Haqqanis as its long-term ally in Afghanistan where Pakistan considers the increasing Indian influence as a threat to its territorial integrity. Insecurity has also made it difficult for aid agencies to reach out to the affected people. The government requires most NGOs to get NOCs in order to function in the FATA.

The good news is that national and provincial authorities, military, civil society and community networks are all involved in Pakistan’s IDP problem. The government has made substantial efforts to address IDPs’ needs over the years. Immediate relief has generally included shelter, relief, cash grants, water, etc., but Pakistan has no national policy or legislation to cope with the recurrent crises of internally displaced persons.

Aslam Kakar

Photo: Flickr


Despite the modern advancements of this era, developing countries still have poor access to quality, cost-effective healthcare. Attempting to close the socioeconomic gap created by poverty, there are three initiatives that governments and national organizations can take to improve health in developing countries.

  1. Investing in Education
    One of the most important ways to improve health in developing countries is by educating citizens. Educating people enables them to obtain safer jobs, increased health literacy, take preventive healthcare measures, avoid riskier health behaviors and demand better-quality health services.This is especially true for women living in developing countries, from girls entering puberty to pregnant mothers. Most deaths that occur in developing countries are neonatal, or during the first five years of life. By “providing formal or vocational education, adequate family planning, and antenatal services can break the cycle of poverty and empower women”, this type of education would begin providing soon-to-be mothers with the necessary knowledge to keep her family, future children, and self both safer and healthier.
  2. Increasing Health Benefits for the Poor
    Poorer countries receive much lower health benefits than richer countries. In developing areas, the poor are subjected to higher risk of contracting diseases and lower access to quality healthcare. This is solely due to the cost of medicine, treatments and vaccinations. Through the creation of targeted systems that strategies identify who is poor and eligible for lower-cost health care. Another attribute of this system is directing programs directly towards lesser developed areas. This targeting system has the potential to “eliminate poverty at less than 10 percent the cost of development programs that do not discriminate between poor and rich”. These systems are done on different levels: most specifically they target individually poor, geographically poor, what diseases need to be prioritized, and the age of those that need health care the most.
  3. Promoting primary and essential healthcare
    A way to improve health in developing countries involves governments providing cost-effective health packages for everyone. An example of this would be Ethiopia and Malawi, where governments have focused on achieving universal vaccine coverage, developing cleaner water supplies and creating better sanitation practices.On a broader scale, as part of the Sustainable Development Goals, the U.N. has agreed to pursue universal healthcare by 2030. The initiative to create universal healthcare includes “access to quality essential healthcare services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all”. By making availability universal, resources can be directed towards primary-level facilities of care that strengthen the overall treatments that people will be receiving.

These are not the only ways to improving health in developing countries. Governments and organizations have taken many different initiatives to closing the socioeconomic gap. With the Sustainable Development Goals, there should be a significant increase of developed countries contributing to establishing safe, quality healthcare systems.

Taylor Elgarten

Photo: Flickr


Andorra is a healthy country; its lack of heavy industry leaves air clean, and people of all ages are used to climbing up and down its hillsides, both of which contribute to the country’s very high life expectancy Still, there is disease. The major diseases in Andorra are non-communicable in nature.

Some of the major diseases in Andorra are cardiovascular diseases, cancer and neurological disorders. These are the most deadly non-communicable diseases. According to HealthGrove, 40.1 percent are affected by cardiovascular diseases, 31.6 percent are affected by cancer and 11.9 percent are affected by neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

Cardiovascular Diseases
In 2013, ischemic heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular and circulatory diseases were the most deadly cardiovascular diseases. They accounted for 87.6 percent of all deaths from cardiovascular disease in Andorra. Of the three, ischemic heart disease was the most deadly, followed by stroke. The mortality rate for the former has decreased by 11 percent since 1990; for the latter it has declined eight percent. The other cardiovascular and circulatory diseases, on the other hand, kill fewer people, but their mortality rate has increased by 25 percent in little more than a generation.

Cancer
Tracheal, bronchus and lung cancer were the three most deadly cancers in 2013, followed by colorectal and prostate cancer. The rate of cancer deaths is on the rise in Andorra. The mortality rate for the respiratory-related cancers is up 18 percent since 1990; for colorectal cancer the increase is 19 percent. The mortality rate for prostate cancer has grown by an astonishing 48 percent since 1990.

Neurological Disorders
Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease, and other neurological disorders were the most deadly neurological disorders in Andorra in 2013. In 2013, 72.8 people out of every 100,000 were killed by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Since 1990, the mortality rate for these dementias has increased by 29 percent. Parkinson disease killed another 8.1 per 100,000; its mortality rate has climbed by 61 percent. The mortality rate for other neurological disorders is up 17 percent since 1990.

Even though non-communicable diseases are some of the major diseases in Andorra, the country, overall, is still relatively healthy. Andorra has some of the most technologically advanced hospitals in Europe. There are ten state-funded health centers in Andorra, which are staffed by nurses. They are responsible for first aid, antenatal and child care, nursing services, home and rehabilitation care, immunizations and general healthcare. Moreover, emergency care is free for everyone.

Solansh Moya

Photo: Flickr


Pneumonia in India accounts for 20 percent of the deaths worldwide caused by pneumonia. Pneumonia is an acute respiratory infection which affects the lungs. It causes difficulty in breathing and limits oxygen intake. It can be caused by bacteria, fungi or viruses and is a contagious disease.

Pneumonia symptoms include a cough, difficulty in breathing, fast breathing or wheezing. Infants may experience an inability to feed or drink, unconsciousness or convulsions, or worse. Pneumonia is the largest infectious cause of death among children in the world.

India has the highest number of deaths by pneumonia and diarrhea among children. Pneumonia in India in children under five is caused by malnutrition, low birth weight, non-exclusive breastfeeding, lack of measles immunization, indoor air pollution and overcrowding.

Pneumonia in India can be fatal to all, but is especially dangerous to young children. According to the  World Health Organization (WHO), one in three deaths in India is caused by pneumonia. Pneumonia in India is the leading cause of infant deaths. Every year almost 200,000 children under five die of pneumonia in India. On a global level, pneumonia kills around 900,000 children in the world every year.

In 2016, India managed to achieve improvement of 7 percentage points in the GAPPD score. The GAPPD score measures the use of interventions that protect, treat and prevent phenomena and diarrhea. India’s 2016 score was 41 percent, a major improvement achieved by improving exclusive breastfeeding rates and the Hib vaccine, but well short of its target score of 86 percent.

A new vaccine to protect children was introduced in India this year as part of the Universal Immunization Program. Called the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), this new vaccine will be available to children who need it, especially the underprivileged. Millions of children will receive the vaccine for free. The vaccine protects children from pneumococcal diseases like pneumonia and meningitis.

The aim of this vaccine is to reduce the death of children from pneumococcal pneumonia. “No child should die from the vaccine-preventable disease,” said the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare in India.

To fight pneumonia, a threefold strategy needs to be incorporated:

  1. Protection: Exclusive breastfeeding for six months, vitamin A and zinc supplementation and adequate nutrition
  2. Prevention via vaccination: Pneumococcus, HIV Protection, promotion of washing and hygiene, reduction of indoor air pollution
  3. Treatment: improving care-seeking behavior, community case management and health facility case management

India has taken significant initiatives to fight against this disease. Through implementing this threefold strategy, overcoming pneumonia in India is hopeful.

Aishwarya Bansal

Photo: Flickr


Like many developing countries, Fiji falls short on providing basic healthcare to all citizens. Private healthcare is available, but many citizens must use the failing public system, which is superior in urban regions compared to those in rural areas. As a result, more rural residents are faced with prevalent illnesses. Based on a 2012 report by the World Health Organization, the following are the major diseases in Fiji:

  • Ischemic heart disease caused the greatest number of deaths in 2012. It killed 1,300 people and accounted for 21.8 percent of Fijian deaths.
  • Diabetes mellitus was the second leading cause of death, accounting for 16 percent of deaths nationwide and killing a total of 900 Fijians.
  • Stroke was third, killing 500 people, 8.3 percent of deaths.
  • Other killer diseases that are less common include lower respiratory infections like pneumonia and bronchitis, kidney diseases and various cancers.

Although noncommunicable diseases cause the majority of deaths, likely due to their difficulty in treating, Fiji is still home to a number of communicable diseases. Together, these diseases accounted for approximately 18 percent of Fijian deaths in 2008. They include the following:

  • The Zika virus, commonly contracted through mosquito bites, is spreading throughout Fiji, with more and more cases reported. There is no current vaccine.
  • Dengue fever, also contracted through mosquito bites, has recently been declared an outbreak within Fiji. As with Zika, dengue fever does not have a current vaccine.
  • Tuberculosis is widely prevalent, especially to those living in rural areas where pollution is common and medical resources are limited.
  • Other common diseases include Hepatitis A and typhoid.

Through utilizing the aid provided by other nations, Fiji would benefit from taking radical measures to improve public healthcare. In doing so, these major diseases in Fiji could be limited or potentially eradicated with time, advancing the quality of life for the Fijian people.

Gigi DeLorenzo

Photo: Flickr


Using soap is the simplest way of preventing the spread, contracting and infection of diseases. This luxury is only available and affordable in developed nations. Lack of access to clean water, poor sanitation and hygiene contribute to two leading causes of high child mortality in the poorest countries: pneumonia and diarrhea. The simple practice of washing hands with soap reduces this risk by 50 percent.

Because so many people who live in these countries do so on a dollar a day, soap is a luxury rather than a necessity. This leads to a higher risk of illnesses that might have been prevented by simple hygiene like washing hands. Because of its relatively high cost within many economies, Clean the World reports that 35 percent of health care facilities in impoverished countries lack soap.

Shawn Seipler, founder of Clean the World, learned that most of the barely used hotel soap bars ended up in landfills after guests check out. According to the Global Soap Project, the hotel industry in the U.S., which uses a third of the global soap supply, throws away an astonishing 2.6 million bars of soap on a daily basis.

Seipler chose to change this by recycling soap hotels were throwing away. He has dedicated his time and effort to recycling soap and sending it to developing countries for continued use. “The recycling, which ends up costing hotels just 75 cents per room a month, allows leftover soap, body wash, shampoo and conditioner to be melted down, sterilized and formed into new soap that is sent all over the world.” Since Clean the World began in 2009, the organization has delivered 40 million bars of soap to more than 115 countries.

In 2015, Clean the World partnered with the Global Soap Project to increase production, delivery and outreach. Since the partnership formation, in addition to joining forces with contributions from 4,000-plus hotels, they have delivered 24 million bars of soap to 99 countries.

Seipler focuses his recycling efforts on bringing soap to schools within developing countries. The result of his recycling efforts might be an additional 1.9 billion school days. Clean the World is also working to provide soap to health care facilities and communities.

It is hopeful that the impact from the above projects will help improve not only health, but the overall quality of life in undeveloped nations.

Taylor Elgarten

Photo: Flickr