Saving 37 Million Lives

The serious point been made here isthat all this is easy and cheap and really needs little more today than thesimple will.

Ten years ago, the problem was overwhelminglogistical issues.  Today, the cell phonehas cut that Gordian knot.

With the cell phone, aresponsible agency can merely fund a bounty for confirmed delivery if it is amatter of delivering live bodies.  Thatis cheap and direct.

All the fixes are first a matterof education and that can be done by the cell phone.  An informed consumer then drives the market.

This item identifies a host ofobvious and cheap fixes.  The payoff ishuge and should drive governments to make it all so.

Saving 37 million lives per year, boosting IQ by 20 points for 4billion people and a better world economy - micronutrients, vaccines, airpollution control and more

MARCH 24, 2011

WHOestimates that better use of existing preventive measures could reducethe global burden of disease by as much as 70%. Affordablesteps can be taken to reduce the burden of disease and accidents. 

More creativity is needed to identifying and better solve these problems. Theproblems can be more difficult to solve then expected on a first pass.TheEconomist describes how it requires some stealth to get needed micronutrientsinto foods that people will eat. The healthier choiceneeds to be in an automatic process. The solution need to just happen withoutresistance or dodging.

- One hundred thousand non-grid connected generators and refrigerators couldhelp maintain the cold chain for vaccines. This would help reduceunder-vaccination and save 5 million lives per year. This also has a trickycomponent in that many people avoid vaccination because of misinformation andincorrect beliefs.

A richer and healthier society is safer and stronger (more robust). Japan was hit by an earthquake and tsunami thatwas 100 times stronger than the one that hit Haiti. Japan had over ten times lowerdeaths. Many aftershocks that hit Japanwere stronger than the initial Haitiearthquake.

37 million lives per year are very savable. The UN millennium projectsare a good start. More creativity is needed. The problems have multiplevulnerabilities to be more deeply and creatively analyzed and exploited. TheWorld economy could be sustainably increased several times.


Helping people/companies/governments get more creativeabout getting enough micronutrients to people would save millions of lives andincrease intelligence and boost local and world economies. There would bedirect boosting of health forlower medical costs and higher productivity and then the increased IQ wouldalso boost economies.

If everyone had optimal levels of micronutrients then the IQ of over half ofthe worlds population would be increased by up to 20 IQ points. (Enough Iodineand Zinc.)Energy levels, productivity and health would also be improved. Also, preventingbrain damage from pollution like lead would also help. Increased IQ provideseconomic benefits and reduced crime levels. It is like a massive initial"transhumanist boost" by giving half the world a 20 point IQ boostover a few decades.

Under-nutrition,including micronutrient deficiencies, accounts for up to 3.5 million maternaland child deaths annually and has life-long consequences on health,productivity and economic growth.

Public health (disease reduction during childhood and teenage development andnutrition) determines about 70% of average IQ and average IQ (and the IQ of thetop 5%) determines a lot of per capita GDP. For each one-point increase in acountry’s average IQ, the per capita GDP was $229 higher. It made an evenbigger difference if the smartest 5 percent of the population got smarter; forevery additional IQ point in that group, a country’s per capita GDP was $468higher.

Among the most severe consequences of micronutrient deficiencies are:

* 670,000 child deaths annually from vitamin A deficiency

* 38 million newborns at risk of falling victim to iodine deficiency disorders,which cause permanent brain damage, every year

* 115,000 maternal deaths annually from iron deficiency

* 1.5 million child deaths from diarrhoea, which could be easily treated withzinc and oral rehydration therapy

* An estimated 250 million preschool children are vitamin A deficient andit is likely that in vitamin A deficient areas a substantial proportion ofpregnant women is vitamin A deficient.

* An estimated 250 000 to 500 000 vitamin A-deficient children become blindevery year, half of them dying within 12 months of losing their sight.

Air pollution and safer energy

I also discuss lowering deaths per TWH from energy generation

Applying air pollution control devices onto coal, oil and natural andindustrial facilities and devices and checks on cars and trucks for ensuringbetter control of particulates could save hundreds of thousands of the800,000-1.2 million deaths per year from particulates.

An article that explains how much particulates pass through yourlungs every year

- applying stronger air pollution controls (affordable with good payback,economic for governments and societies)

- Helping developing countries to have safe indoor stoves and heaters (there isa UN program for this but it needs to be expanded (would save 1.9 millionpeople per year)

Stronger buildings and better construction codes

Improved low cost building construction would prevent the vulnerability shownin Haitito fragile buildings. Simple and affordable steps can be taken with things likehurriquake nails

Summarizing some other steps to prevent avoidable deaths

* 6 million deaths could be avoided by stopping the use of Tobacco. (requiresmore creativity)

* Poor water quality continues to pose a major threat to human health.Diarrhoeal disease alone amounts to an estimated 4.1 % of the total DALY globalburden of disease and is responsible for the deaths of 1.8 million people everyyear (WHO, 2004)

* Spend $136 billion/year on sanitation and clean water or create a cheap andeffective diahrrea vaccines so that people can tolerate dirty water. Still workon clean sanitation but vaccinations could be 20 times cheaper and save 80-90%of the lives.

* 1.3 million people die each year from traffic accidents. Automation (roboticdriving) even partial automation could help a great deal in reducing thesedeaths and injuries. Partial Automation: detection of imminent crash andauto-avoidance or reduction of crash severity (auto-brake), automation atintersections where disproportionate accidents occur.

If you liked this article, please give it a quick review on ycombinator orStumbleUpon. Thanks

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