People's News Service PO box 3074 Madison Wi. 53704
According to C. C. Jones a recent news report said that despite the oil
boycott of Iraq the US has imported 830,000 barrels of oil a day from
that country since August. This was supposedly oil that was already
paid for. (9/19)
A new report by a Washington based advocacy group says
that effective family planing could reduce the number of infant and childhood
deaths in third world countries by about three million a year. The report was
prepared in advance of the UN Children's Summit meeting describes family
planing as the most effective means of reducing childhood deaths.
The report was published by the Population Crisis
Committee and says that surveys undertaken in 30 third world countries show
that the risk of infant and child mortality increases between 60 and 70
percent if birth spacing is less than two years. The survey also shows that
children born to the women under the age of 20, or above the age of 35, are
also far more likely to die as are their mothers. Sharon Kamp, vice president
of the Washington based advocacy group explains that how the study arrived at
the three million figure was that if you combine poor birth spacing with young
ages of child bearing you get an enormously high risk to both mother and
child, in the range of 80 percent risk factor for many 3rd world countries.
It is also true that when a mother dies in childbirth
the chances of her infant dying can be as high as a 100 percent. In the few
studies that have been done on maternal mortality and infant mortality
anywhere from 75 percent to 100 percent of the infants died within the first
few months after their mothers died. The group believes that by simply
improving childbirth spacing and reducing the number of births to women under
the age of 20 humanity could reduce by between 20 and 25 percent current
levels of infant and child deaths. That comes out to about three million
infant and child deaths a year.
If parents were having only the children they wanted, when they wanted them,
in other words if every couple in the world had access to family planing the
report estimates that as many as 7 million children now annually dying could
be saved. The situation varies from country to country. For example in a
country like Jordan, where birth intervals are very short and child bearing
begins at an especially early age, Kamp says about 30 percent of present
infant and child deaths could be prevented by family planing.
One of the biggest advantages to family planing as an
approach to reducing child mortality is its cost. According to Sharon Kamp,
an inter-uterine device which is safe and effective for many women is available
for as little as a dollar a year and lasts for up to six years. A year's worth
of birth control pills could cost as little as two dollars. A comprehensive
family planing program along with public information and research and
training, she said, cost an average of about 16 dollars per year per couple.
Furthermore, when family planing services are intergrated with other health
services the various efforts reenforce one another.
Release of the new report was timed to procceed the
International Children's Summit opening September 26 at the UN. This is the
first international gathering focused solely on the welfare of children and is
expected to attract some 60 heads-of-state to UN Headquarters in New York.