Sunday, 27 May 2018

"Hur jag lärde mig förstå världen" by Hans Rosling and Fanny Härgestam

At bookstores, a quotation is recurring: 'this is the most important book I have read', end quote famous person. If true, it underlines Rosling's message: that terribly few people know how much better the world is compared to what we think. Our thinking and understanding is at least 20 years behind: today, roughly, 83% of the world population is vaccinated against the most difficult diseases - not 21% (or in that range); 9 out of 10 children attend school, not the 3 of 10 or so that people tend to think. It goes on - many countries don't need the extra support and even decline the help from volunteering doctors, as happened to one of Rosling's students. She was going to Thailand. He himself worked in Moçambique, which also has undergone huge changes. I am not certain whether it is still impossible to set up road signs, as they tended to get stolen because people needed the metal, but the hospitals have developed, expanded, gotten more experts.

Hans Rosling is not with us anymore, but I had the privilege to meet him a few years back at a lecture everyone wanted to attend. I stepped on the stage afterwards to exchange a few words, and he remained as warm and personal. He loved the attention and was happy to spread the information about world health. If you can - read the book. I warmly recommend it. He has travelled the world, met with Castro, the Gates, did important work with ebola and more or less discovered the paralysing disease konzo. Not the least, his grandmother got to experience the enormous change in the household when time is freed up grace to a washing machine. 

No comments:

Post a Comment