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May 1981

The Child in the Third World

Author Affiliations

From OXFAM, Oxford, England.

Am J Dis Child. 1981;135(5):462-466. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1981.02130290058018

Rather than give an academic treatise or an emotive report on the problems of the poor, it seems best to describe something that is important and that I know something about: the health care of children in poor countries and what can be done to ease their problems. I will also, in this context, discuss the role of nongovernmental agencies (NGOs) like OXFAM. Most of this report reviews what has already been said elsewhere, but problems of these children are sufficiently grave to justify reemphasis.

HEALTH PROBLEMS IN THE THIRD WORLD  I remember debating in the highlands of Ethiopia with another physician on what to do about a malnourished child with severe diarrhea: should the physician administer an intravenous infusion or not? The mother had lost her husband and the rest of her children in the famine; so in spite of the near hopelessness of the situation we decided to