Multivitamins reduce birth defects

Updated: 21 May 2008, 23:30

Originally written: 05 September 2006

According to an article in the Times Colonist, a March of Dimes study, “published earlier this year showed that one in every 17 babies born in the world has a serious birth defect.” The article also reports, based upon the study:
… almost eight million children annually suffer from a birth defect, including 3.3 million who die and another 3.2 million who live with severe mental and physical disabilities that often condemn them to lives of poverty and suffering.

Birth defects principally involve deformities of the heart and spine, and blood disorders, but up to 70 per cent of the conditions are preventable with simple public-health measures and basic medical technologies.
A compilation of previous studies — a meta-analysis — published in the latest edition of the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of Canada, shows that a daily prenatal multivitamin results in a:
So, can we expect a dramatic reduction in birth defects next year, on the order noted above?

That is very unlikely!

One, two, three, four, five decades ago, the medical professions, aid agencies, and United Nations, knew that inexpensive medications and simple public health measures could saves millions of lives and prevent millions of needless illnesses and deformities. But in 2006 millions die and suffer for want of those solutions. Why? War, religion, lack of education, lack of government commitment, and most of those who suffer are not white. The excuses are great. They ensure that people who look for excuses have something to distract them.

But the bottom line is the bottom line. Poor people cannot pay, so their suffering, and their birth defects do not count under capitalism.

The wars, and religions, and lack of education and lack of government commitment — are also results of capitalism, so rather than use them as convenient excuses, they should be eliminated by eliminating capitalism.

The problems can be solved. Or, a century from now some new studies can reveal the shocking news that inexpensive and simple solutions exist to serious medical problems.

Sadly, our class appears to be aiming for the the new studies to shock our descendants in one hundred years. The problems are serious. Capitalism has proven, over and over again that it cannot solve the them.

If you want to prevent preventable birth defects, you must work to establish socialism. If you do not start now, how many children will be born with birth defects because you waited?
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