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July 29, 2011

Safe births, safe cooking and universal vaccination would save over 10 million lives per year


WHO estimates that better use of existing preventive measures could reduce the global burden of disease by as much as 70%.

Safe births, safe cooking and universal vaccination would save over 10 million lives per year. The means of delivering these three things are with very simple and cheap technology, processes and education.

1. Safe births can save 2.6 million lives per year. There are various non-profit, UN, Gates Foundation and other efforts targeted at this goal.


- Clean birth kits (a razor blade to cut the umbilical cord and some other cheap supplies to prevent infection through the cord) could save 950,000 lives per year.

- trained midwives could help get clean birth kits out trained midwives could save another 2.6 million lives




2. 700-850 million soot free cookers could save 1.9 million lives per year from reduced air pollution. A few million of the cookers have been deployed already and various household versions cost $30-100. China has already had a major deployment effort. India has strong economic growth now and should accelerate deployment. Again there are non-profits and other efforts in this area.

Fixing black carbon soot pollution would help with air pollution and reduce warming. Soot is equal to about 40-55% of the warming from carbon dioxide. The cookers provide an offset equal to one ton of CO2 for just $6/ton of CO2 equivalent.

3. Getting off grid refrigeration and/or using super thermos containers can help get universal vaccination against certain key diseases and would save another 5 million lives per year.


A total of about 37 million avoidable deaths out of 55 million deaths per year are avoidable without needing extreme technology. We can also work on the rest with anti-aging and life extension and more advanced medicine.




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