In Brief: Get free life-saving information on child health
JOHANNESBURG, 8 April 2010 (IRIN) - The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has launched the fourth edition of "Facts for Life", a handbook filled with information that could save the lives of some nine million children across the globe who die from preventable and treatable illnesses every year before they reach the age of five.
"Through simple messages, Facts for Life aims to bring vital knowledge to parents and caregivers, who are the first line of defence in protecting children from illness and harm," Ann Veneman, Executive Director of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) said at the launch in Maseru, capital of Lesotho, on 7 April.
Since its initial publication in 1989 some 15 million copies in 215 languages have been circulated worldwide, providing practical advice on pregnancy, childbirth, common childhood illnesses, child development, early learning, parenting, protection, care, and support for children.
"Pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles and AIDS together account for half of all deaths of children under age five," Veneman said. "These diseases are largely preventable, and sometimes it is a simple lack of knowledge that causes these deaths. Facts for Life helps bridge that information gap."
The new version of Facts for Life, a co-publication by UNICEF, other UN agencies and the World Bank, has added a section on newborn health, and a new chapter on child protection. The book is available here: www.factsforlifeglobal.org.