SGR meets for Pan American Health Organization centennial

March 23, 2002, midnight | By Rachel Yood | 21 years, 2 months ago

Jose Romero Teruel of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the world's oldest international health agency, addressed 20 students at Students for Global Responsibility (SGR) on the subject of worldwide health issues after school on Thursday.

The purpose of the event, according to SGR sponsor and physics teacher Rick Moats, was "to tell us what they're about and how we can help." PAHO, which is celebrating its hundredth anniversary this year, is holding a walk for World Health Day on Apr 6.

PAHO, founded on Dec 2, 1902, is dedicated to addressing a variety of health issues, including a campaign against childhood smoking and vaccination in developing nations. PAHO uses a variety of methods to reach people and to educate them, including art and music. For example, Teruel showed a picture of an African woman singing about AIDS. But, according to Teruel, countries like the United States have a lot to gain from these developing nations, as well. "We go with suggestions and we try to work with them and to learn from them," he said. Teruel pointed out that such nations often use less energy and produce significantly less pollution.

Teruel discussed the five most common causes of childhood death worldwide: diarrhoeal diseases, pneumonia, malnutrition, measles and malaria. PAHO has focused much of its energy on these diseases through a project called Integrated Management of Childhood Illness. Teruel provided pictures of sick children to demonstrate the urgency of many children's situations, including images of a child with smallpox and a child with intestinal worms.

Among PAHO's other priorities are insuring access to safe blood, dealing with the problems of infant mortality, eradicating measles, discouraging childhood and adolescent tobacco use, reducing maternal deaths and treating mental disorders in developing nations, according to a PAHO publication.

SGR is a 15-year-old student-run organization that addresses local, national and international environmental, social and political issues, according to Moats.

More information on the Apr 6 World Health Day walk is available at SGR meets every Thursday at 2:15 and 3:00 in room 215.

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Rachel Yood. Rachel Yood is a junior in the Communication Arts Program at Blair. She is excited to join Silver Chips as a page editor, but suspicious of the time the newspaper seems to take from her primary activity: sleeping. When not working or curled up in … More »

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