Sunday, July 06, 2008
CNN: The Survival Project: One Child at a Time
Tonight CNN ran a special “The Survival Project: One Child at a Time” hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the Atlanta neurosurgeon who doubles as CNN’s medical journalist. The one hour program covered UNICEF-related children’s programs around the world. The website ("Impact Your World") has this link. British reporter Dan Rivers appeared on some segments.
The two biggest causes of mortality in children in developing countries is malaria, and water-borne disease.
The program started by showing a clean water project in Laos. It then showed a detailed discussion of HIV prevention in Peru, which in general is not as heavily affected as Africa. All pregnant women coming to the clinic are tested. If they test positive, they are not allowed to breast-feed, and they sometimes receive Ceseareans, which reduces the likelihood of transmission of the virus to the child during birth. The program has been quite successful in reducing the number of children with HIV infection.
The program showed health and feeding stations in rural Ethiopia. A nurse or assistant measures the circumference of the child’s upper arm; below a certain value the child is considered to be in salvation and taken to an emergency feeding station. Visually, that is a striking test. Thousands of women are trained as health care workers.
The film then showed a 12 year old boy in Baghdad who sold gasoline to support his younger siblings. His mother was widowed, as are 70000 women in Iraq, which has 14 million children.
The show featured brief appearances of some celebrities, including Clay Aiken and Nicole Ritchie.
The show presented some statistics on how much can be achieved with 50 cents a day from everyone who can afford it.
Some of the water and de-parasite programs covered here are similar to earlier ones discussed in this book review from June 2007:
Access Hollywood also discussed celebrity children’s charity programs last week, written up on my International blog here from July 2: