Accessibility links

Breaking News

DEVELOPMENT REPORT  - February 11, 2002: Tools For Life - 2002-02-09

This is the VOA Special English Development Report.

Experts say deaths from infectious diseases can be greatly reduced at very little cost with the use of some common devices and medicines. The United Nations Population Fund magazine has listed the seven most effective tools for life in a developing country.

Last year, an estimated forty-million people around the world were living with H-I-V, the virus that causes AIDS. One device that can prevent the spread of AIDS is the rubber condom. Men wear condoms during sex to protect themselves from passing or receiving diseases like H-I-V. A one-year supply of rubber condoms costs about fourteen dollars. There are also condoms for women.

Another tool for life in developing countries is a bed net to cover a person’s bed while sleeping. The cost of a bed net is about four dollars. Bed nets prevent mosquito insects from biting people during the night. Mosquitoes carry malaria, a disease that kills more than one-million people every year. The World Health Organization says bed nets can reduce the number of child deaths from malaria by twenty-five percent.

Medicine to treat malaria is also important for people in developing countries. Anti-malarial drugs are considered ninety-five percent effective and cost as little as twelve cents for each pill.

Other kinds of medicine can treat tuberculosis. Tuberculosis spreads through the air from one person to another. The bacteria attack the lungs. It takes at least six months for medicine to kill all T-B bacteria. A full treatment costs about ten dollars. It is considered ninety-five percent effective in curing the disease.

Antibiotics to fight pneumonia are also important. Pneumonia is a serious infection of the lungs, which can cause death if untreated. Most treatments are considered ninety percent effective and cost as little as twenty-seven cents for each pill.

The U-N Population Fund says vaccine medicines can prevent the childhood disease measles. The vaccine costs twenty-six cents for every treatment including the equipment to inject the vaccine.

Finally, a simple liquid called Oral Rehydration Therapy can treat a severe lack of fluids in the body. Many children around the world suffer this condition caused by diarrhea. Oral Rehydration Therapy to restore body liquids costs about thirty cents.

This VOA Special English Development Report was written by Jill Moss.