Every year I get asked the same questions, what’s a good gift idea for someone or what would I like. For the last 3 years my response has and will always be the same. In a world where pain and hard times are in an abundance, receiving is quite scarce. 3.6 million jobs have been lost since the beginning of 2008 In America.  The economy has hit a staggering low since World War 2.  Now is the time, more than ever, to take my advice as to what to give or what to receive this holiday

Please visit UNICEF.  It’s an amazing website where not only can you make a donation to help prevent or lower the cases of malaria but you can also make a donation in whatever region of the world in someone’s name in the form of a holiday card.  You can even buy a Gucci purse or Cartier bracelet and proceeds will go to a bigger cause than ourselves. It makes a great gift for a friend, lover, co-worker, etc. and is quite impressive to be so worldly concious.

According to the World Health Organization’s statistics, in 2007, there were an estimated 9 million child deaths, significantly fewer than the 12.5 million estimated in 1990.  Every year some 536,000 women die of complication’s during pregnancy or childbirth, 99% of them in developing countries. Most maternal deaths occur in Africa, where the maternal mortality ratio is 900 per 100,000 births, with no measurable improvement between 1990 and 2005.  In 2006, an estimated 330 million people were at risk of malaria.

The prevalence of HIV infection is highest in Africa as well. Two-thirds of the global total of 33 million people with HIV live in Africa.  Out of every 10 deaths worldwide, 6 are due to noncommunicable conditions; 3 to communicable, reproductive or nutritional conditions; and 1 to injury. Many developing countries have mortality patterns that reflect high levels of infectious diseases and the risk of death during pregnancy and childbirth, in addition to the cancers, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases that account for most deaths in the developed world.
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At UNICEF you can help lower these statistics.  Every little counts.  The progress that has been made demonstrates that more can now be achieved but to do so will require that an adequate level of support is maintained for global health, despite the current economic crisis.  Today, in the year of 2009, women are still dying during childbirth. 1 In 10 women die during childbirth and 1 in 4 children die before the age of 5.  In Sierra Leone, there are 7 hospitals and in 1 American ambulance there are more health supplies than all 7 of those hospitals put together.  The people of Sierra Leone have to bring there own drugs, slits or gauze’s.  That is why I support Shine On Sierra Leone, an amazing organization doing incredible work in the country.

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