What’s Scarier than a Vampire on Halloween?

By Noha Zeitoun, Content Intern, External Relations and Communications

As children, we faced our fears of ghosts and vampires on Halloween. But as adults, we know there are greater fears in today’s world, especially in global health.

At PSI, we share the type of things we find truly frightening this Halloween and what we’re doing to make them less terrifying.

  1. What’s scarier than a Vampire?

The mosquitos that carry malaria are real-life vampires, much more ominous and life-threatening in parts of world where the disease has not been eradicated. According to the World Health Organization, there were roughly 584,000 deaths caused by malaria in 2013.

To date, PSI has distributed more than 215 million long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets in 38 countries. PSI has worked with Ministries of Health from 21 countries and implemented mass free distributions through the public and private sector. As a result, PSI has been able to effectively curb the amount of malaria-related deaths in at-risk populations, which include young children and pregnant women.

  1. What’s scarier than Zombies crawling out of the ground?

Nothing incites more fear than the image of an undead corpse rising out of the ground, but what’s even scarier is what some people are leaving behind in the ground. A third of the world’s population does not have access to a toilet and relieve themselves outdoors. More than 640 million people in India defecate in the open. The lack of access to proper sanitation and toilets contributes to the over 1.7 billion cases of childhood diarrhea every year. In many cases, this can prove to be deadly.

In India, PSI has installed over 10,000 toilets to date, leveraging the power of behavior change interventions for sustainable impact. We’ve found that building toilets in villages and homes not only improves sanitation, but also gives women dignity and respect when using the toilets. Certain models even allow for storage compartments where women can safely store their sanitary pads.

  1. What’s scarier than a poison apple?

While tainted foods can be deadly, the number of people who die from preventable complications related to childbirth and pregnancy is significantly higher. On average, 800 women die each day from these types of causes. That’s equivalent to one death every two minutes.

PSI works to change these alarming statistics. Our programs make maternal health products and services more available and accessible by distributing vital drugs and providing contraceptive counseling and services.

Check out more of our work on psi.org.