Talk:Children's Health Books

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Thoughts on revision

(from an email from Lynne May Kim)

I read the Filthy the Fly story. The fly is really getting a bad rap here. I wonder if part of the activities is to actually learn about flies so that children know that they are important to the ecosystem (e.g., consumes and eliminates decaying matter like dead animal bodies, and helps convert decay matter into soil), and it is true that they inadvertently help transmit diseases. Killing them would be okay because there are so many of them and one does not want flies around the house, but children should realize that they are part of the ecosystem, and that they are doing what they naturally do.

Strong, vehement disagreement, it's essential to keep message focused on human health. Public health messaging is not for the squeamish. Killing files is not simply "okay", it is an important public health measure[1][2][3] in the target communities for these materials. I do not mean to be harsh, but if your sympathies are with the fly, you may not know enough about Musca sorbens (the "eye-seeking fly", a leading vector for Chlamydia trachomatis) to be substituting your judgment for that of the UNESCO experts that originally crafted these materials. Trachoma is the world's leading cause of preventable blindness. It affects approximately 150 million people living in the world's poorest, rural communities and causes an estimated loss of $2.9 billion in productivity annually. Flies are also significant vectors of diarrheal diseases, which is the number two killer of children in developing world. "Diarrheal diseases, pneumonia, and malaria account for 52 percent of under-five deaths worldwide". [4] In the bigger picture, death and disease are important to the ecosystem too, but I'm not in favor of them. Cjl 16:23, 2 May 2008 (EDT)


  • Hygiene
    • wash hands, wash hands, wash hands
    • Wear shoes (appropriate countries)
    • Cover mouth
  • Disease
    • What are germs
    • Where do they come from
    • How they get inside of you


  • Commission local authors and artists to write and illustrate children’s books about washing hands/hygene/etc. in each target country. Release under CC license.
  • Apply for grants
  • Connect with university faculty/staff in target countries to administer programs locally
  • Set priorities for what books should teach. Create protagonists that will be common to all the books.
  • Pay artists upon completion of work.
  • Format for olpc and release


  • Low cost – we can pay authors and artists in target countries well without expending large sums of money
  • Local relevance – A children’s book written for one culture probably won’t translate that well to another culture. We get both local stories and local art this way.
  • If a story does translate well, then we have bonus books all around.


  • There are a couple grants we may be able to go after. The money is out there.
  • This proposal will hinge on whether we can create solid working relationships with people in our target countries who can administer the program locally. The local universities could be a useful starting place, unless we have better connections through OLPC. We will be fiscally responsible for any grant money we receive, so we will be the ones responsible for results, or lack thereof.
One potential source would be The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Open Educational Resources program. Yes, that's Hewlett as in Hewlett-Packard. If nothing else, you want to look over their grant proposals for ideas on how to write such applications. Cjl 00:18, 26 April 2008 (EDT)

Computer Games

Create tie-in interactive health adventure games with the protagonists from the books. This is definitely a v.2 objective.

Age Ranges and Approach

Wondering if the books are delineated by appropriate ages?

The titles listed look like engaging creature characters, but anthropamorphizing sp? vs. teaching medical terminology? vs. Mini Med school for local healers and associated agents?

danceswithcars 15:53, 17 August 2009 (UTC)