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ZPG BACKGROUNDER. 1991 Oct; 1-4.During the 1990's 1.5 billion children will be born, more than in any other decade. 10% of them will not reach their 5th birthday. The causes of these deaths are contaminated drinking water, poor sanitation, common diseases, environmental pollution, and malnutrition. None of these are mysterious problems; the solution is only a matter of will. Even the US which ranks 6th in per capita gross national products suffers from these problems as it does not even make the top 10 in any significant measure of child welfare. The US ranks 18th in child mortality rates and 21st in < 5 mortality rates. In the US, 101 cities, containing 50% of the US population, have failed to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards for ground level ozone. Child labor is also an international problem that exists in the US as well. The average fine for a child labor violation is $170. In cases involving permanent injury or death to a child the average fine is only $750. Clearly even the US does not place a very high value on children. In every nation, including the US, family size is a very accurate predictor of child poverty, mortality, disease, and abuse. The more children there are in a family the more likely they are to be poor, get sick, be physically abused, or die. Families with 5 or more children are 3 times more likely to be poor than families with only 2 children. Child survival programs alone are hot as successful as a combined program of child survival and family planning. Thus family planning programs should be in place in every country that is currently having trouble keeping its children healthy, well fed, and prosperous. If every tax payer in the industrialized world contributed 1 penny a day, or US3.65 annually, to family planni ng assistance, there would be enough resources to ensure that all the children of the world would be wanted and cared for properly.
WORLD HEALTH. 1991 Mar-Apr; 14-5.Less developed countries are undergoing rapid, unplanned, and uncontrolled urbanization at the expense of their populations' health. Physical expansion of cities has outpaced the abilities of city planners and management and has contributed to the spread of tuberculosis, pneumonia, influenza, threadworm, cholera, dysentery, and other diarrheal diseases. Overcrowding, lack of access roads, dangerous roads, drinking water scarcity, frequently collapsing buildings, uncollected garbage, lack of sewers, inadequate air space, and houses littered with human feces are common conditions contributing to high mortality rates especially among children. In this context, the World Health Organization's Environmental Health in Rural and Urban Development Program, which is designed to promote awareness about the association between health and planning, is noted. Guidelines for change are also a component of the program, and are encouraged for adoption by planners of less developed countries, especially Africa. Urban rehabilitation and upgrading are recommended in the guidelines while maintaining central focus upon promoting the population's health. While examples of rampant urbanization are drawn primarily from Nigeria, ancient Greek and Roman societies as well as the UK are mentioned in the context of urban planning with a view to health.