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'Saving the Children'

December 24, 1987

In this year awash with negative economic news, it is worth noting that there are positive international developments worth celebrating. In addition to recent U.S.-Soviet talks we can take encouragement from the UNICEF report. It makes the following points:

--Ten years ago fewer than 5% of the developing world's children were vaccinated against disease. If present trends continue, more than 70% of these children will be immunized against main vaccine preventable disease by 1990.

--More than 1 million children have been saved by the spreading use of oral-dehydration therapy (a low-cost formula of boiled water, salts and glucose).

--Child mortality even when food was available has been halted by simply teaching growth monitoring techniques.

--By emphasizing the benefits of breast-feeding, infant deaths have been reduced by reversing the trend toward the use of powdered formulas using unpurified water.

What is important here is that there are simple, straightforward and positive steps that really do make an impact. Each of us has the opportunity to shake off some of our temporary gloom by celebrating and contributing to the support of a healthier and better-fed world where children can benefit from caring and involved Americans.

BILL GOLDSTEIN

Santa Monica

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