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Matt with Benjamin


This morning I met Benjamin for the first time. He is less than 20 days old and the son of good friends Dave and Janet. Everyone is happy and healthy. Benjamin is a beautiful baby.

Dave is a doctor, and I took some time to ask him about how things in his life have changed since the arrival of Benjamin. We also talked about the distinction between how wonderful medical care is in Australia, compared with what might be expected in what is referred to as a ‘developing country’.

How fortunate we are to experience almost very low child mortality and excellent maternal health. Dave was explaining how easy and cheap it would be to save so many life through simple interventions relating to hydration and hygiene. Simple things we take so much for granted that we don’t even think twice.

During the week a friend related a story where apparently in parts of Sudan the prevalence of child mortality was so high that new born babies are not given names.

I am thankful for Dave and Janet that things are different for Benjamin. How long will it be before child mortality and maternal health become taken for granted by almost everyone on earth?


4 thoughts on “Benjamin

    Jui said:
    October 10, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Honestly, Really lovely picture that i have seen. Your picture make me feel want to hugs my Dad and miss my parents as well.
    Great story Matt!!! Family, Children-new born and Best Friends.
    Love it.

    10citybridgerun said:
    October 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Thanks Jui! Make sure you call your parents and let them know! I’m sure they miss you too!

    Fay said:
    October 11, 2010 at 1:25 pm

    There are echoes of earlier child mortality rates in the delays in having Judaeo-Christian naming ceremonies – traditionally not until the child was a few weeks/months old. In some sects the child’s name was not spoken until the ceremony, for just those reasons. Now that delay just gives the parents time to plan the party etc, but it was originally to see if the baby survived.

      10citybridgerun said:
      October 11, 2010 at 2:09 pm

      It is really interesting Fay- in Korea, the first birthday of a child remains a huge celebration as a legacy of the traditional Korean culture. For all the same reasons you mentioned. I wonder how many people think past their wardrobe and presents to the risks encountered which have now (excepting developing countries) been largely overcome?

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