Every year, premature death — that is, death attributable to causes other than old age — deprives people of a combined 1.7 billion years of life they could have enjoyed. 1.7 billion years. Think of everything those people could have done — the children they could have had, the jobs they could have done, the people they could have loved, the things they could have created that now won’t be.
40 percent of those 1.7 billion years could have been saved by basic medication, clean water, or neonatal care. “3,000 young kids are dying from diarrhea that a few zinc tablets would have stopped,” Wired’s Lee Simmons notes. “Cost: 38 cents per life.”
Click “Know More” to read more about the causes of premature death, and how to reorient our public health policy to save as many lives as possible. Hat-tip to Paul Kelleher.