Global Health Ideas

Finding global health solutions through innovation and technology

Success story: Saving the world one multivitamin at a time

ode93_int_klein.jpgCool story below from the latest issue of Ode Magazine (an independent magazine about the people and ideas that are changing the world). There are two other stories of general interest –

1. This little light of mine: A revolutionary new light bulb uses so little energy it can last decades. (Article)

2. Pulling themselves up by their keyboards: By bringing computers into slums, an Indian physicist shows that illiterate children can educate themselves—and help their country progress. (Article)

Supplementing Global Health:
Howard Schiffer and Vitamin Angels are saving the world one multivitamin at a time (Article)

What the world needs now is not love, but vitamins. That’s what 40-year-old Howard Schiffer realized in 1994 after an earthquake hit the former vitamin salesman’s hometown of Santa Barbara, California. Until then, Schiffer had been unhappy with his line of work. “If I die tomorrow,” he remembers thinking, “they’re going to write ‘He sold a lot of products’ on my grave.” While other relief organizations provide shelter, medicine, and food, it turned out that none supplied vitamins. That was a significant oversight considering that one-third of the world’s population lacks basic nutrition and the No. 1 global health risk is starvation.

By 2002, the Vitamin Angel Alliance—the world’s only nonprofit dedicated to supplying vitamins—had delivered 12 million supplements. In 2005, Vitamin Angels passed out 100 million vitamins in some 40 countries.

In the nutritional-supplement realm, $1 can save a life. “There are so many things that people donate to where people have to hope that their support can have an impact,” Schiffer said. “This isn’t one of them…It’s a low-tech solution to a global health problem.”

Full story.

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Written by Aman

February 15, 2007 at 12:30 am

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