Utah Valley Global Health Group

A blog about global health for those living in Utah Valley and their friends.

Thoughts on Child Mortality from Andrea Peacock

Posted by benjamincrookston on March 30, 2008

 This is the first in a series of posts from students in a BYU Global Health class.

 I remember the first time I learned that diarrhea could kill people. I was reading an article in the NYT about painkillers being banned in Sierra Leone because of concerns about drug-related crime. The statement I read wasn’t even in the same vein as the rest of the article. It just mentioned in passing that the leading cause of death among children there was dehydration from diarrhea. I started crying in front of all my co-workers. And I wanted everyone to see.

I wanted them to ask me why I was crying.

That was really the impetus for my resolution to do more. And I think that moment was half the battle. Because hearing something like that should make anyone angry enough or curious enough or sad enough or astonished enough to do something. If anything, learning more about global health has shown me that getting people talking; getting people to hear, is a big step. I think it encourages the cooperation and collaboration that I’ve learned is so critical for public health to succeed. We need people from politics, from economics, from anthropology, from sociology, from statistics, from business, and others to talk about it! It may not change the world, but it does foment some kind of action—even if it is just telling someone else about it.

Andrea Peacock

3 Responses to “Thoughts on Child Mortality from Andrea Peacock”

  1. chads said

    Thanks for your personal thoughts, Andrea. I’ve been thinking quite a bite lately about the difference between a tragedy (unpredictable, often not preventable) and an injustice (systematic, predictable). It seems to me that while both are sad, injustices require action and change much more urgently, on a societal scale. Maybe that will be a future post?

    I agree whole-heartedly with your comments on “cooperation and collaboration” from people from a variety of backgrounds.

  2. […] first got her determined to do something about improving global health. It was simply reading that diarrhea is a leading cause of child mortality in the third […]

  3. I completely agree and am a strong believer that making a consistent effort to educate others with knowledge we have obtained can make a significant difference. It just takes one person to make a change in the world. It is our responsibility to initiate action to make a difference. We can’t expect someone else to do it for us. When we become believers in success, much good can be done.

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