Meeting Millennium Development Goals
through local languages
Goal 4. Reduce child mortality
SIL views local language development as essential to achieve this goal.
The mortality rate for children under five years of age is reduced when vital health information about disease prevention and treatment is available in local languages. Conversely, poorly understood health information can lead to dangerous and even fatal misinformation. Ethnolinguistic communities are vulnerable to diarrhea, malaria and other common illnesses when they lack the resources and capability to obtain essential health knowledge.
Health information in Waama saves lives
Basile has noticed an improvement in the overall health of people in his Waama community in Benin since the advent of literacy classes in his mother tongue. People used to have long-term illnesses, and many children died in infancy. But when people learned to read in Waama, they gained access to basic health information in their own language. Mothers learned the importance of going to health centers for prenatal check-ups and seeking treatment for illnesses. Many Waama lives are being saved because crucial health and wellness knowledge is now available in their mother tongue.
- Fighting Avian Flu with Literacy
- SIL publication: Ensnared by AIDS: Cultural Contexts of HIV/AIDS in Nepal