Published: Friday 31 October 1997

More than 11 million children die every year before reaching the age of five, out of which nearly eight million deaths are caused by pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles, malaria and malnutrition. Many of these deaths can be prevented, with the help of Integrated Management of Childhood Illness (IMCI), an approach developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in collaboration with United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF). Both the organisations would work to bring together specialists from WHO, UNICEF, the World Bank, the European Union, government agencies, non governmental organisations and national health authorities to develop concrete plans from implementing IMCI all over the world.

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) have added five hazardous pesticides to an international list of substances that should not be explored without the permission of importing countries. The pesticides are methamidophos, methyl parathion, monocrotophes, parathion and phosphamidon. According to the agencies, the pesticide formulations have posed serious threats to the health of many farmers who have been exposed to these pesticides during normal crop spraying. Studies suggest that the health of consumers has been severely affected from vegetables which had been treated with organophosphate pesticides just before harvest.

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