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Healthy Kids That Can

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February 06, 2013

While scientists, doctors, community health workers, educators and parents all work in different ways to improve global children’s health, let’s not forget the powerful role of kids themselves.

Healthy Kids—a newly released Global Fund for Children book by Maya Ajmera, Victoria Dunning and Cynthia Pon, with a thoughtful foreword by Melinda French Gates—is now available

This book celebrates the role children play in being informed agents of both individual and community health, and provides a global view of preventive and primary health for these little citizens of the world.  It is a powerful tool for change as an addition to home and school libraries for the age 4 to 7 set. 

With images from around the globe showcasing local environments and resources, this book depicts children practicing good health habits—from eating nutritious balanced meals, to using the toilet, to wearing [[helmets and]] safety belts. 

Each spread features clear and simple language describing key children’s health components. Clean water, safe protected shelter, vaccinations, dental hygiene, and bednets are part of a full complement of global health practices as seen from a child’s point of view.

The book not only illustrates healthy practices, but also introduces children to a global perspective.  As with other books in the Global Fund for Children series, young readers can engage with global issues such as health, education, and diversity in a celebratory manner that honors differences and demonstrates commonalities with young global neighbors. Young readers from different backgrounds can relate to images of other children washing, playing, and going to the health clinic in Ghana, India, Guatemala, and Thailand among other nations. 

At the end of the book, the colorful world map and descriptive back matter helps the burgeoning international development expert or public health specialist to explore global health content more deeply, as well as the challenges of poverty and inequity. Young readers are encouraged to find solutions, and to take on individual and community health projects.

As teachers, healthcare professionals, researchers, and policymakers in the global health and education arenas, our work will not only be on behalf of children, but through and by them as well.   Healthy Kids is the primer for their learning and their contribution.

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