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Unit 4

HEALTH

Comprehensive Reading

Health: A National Resource

"There is no finer investment for any community than to put milk into babies. Healthy Citizens are the greatest asset any country can have."

Winston Churchill, 1943

Winston Churchill must have been a courageous man. During World War II, while bombs were dropping on London, he would still say, "Public health is our greatest wealth." Can we say the same? Even in a time of relative peace, would we be willing to admit health must come first? Let's take a look at the facts, shall we?

Poor health is expensive. Recently, the Korea Herald reported that TB control alone would cost Korean taxpayers billions of won next year. Certain specific diseases like TB, as well as poor health in general, limit the GNP. And we shouldn't forget those minor diseases, such as colds and flu. They cost the nation valuable man-hours of work.

Poor diet and lack of sleep will often contribute to the spread of common infections. Frequently we infect each other in schools, offices, and other public places. Very often, however, we would rather risk the health of others than miss a day of work; when one man in a group gets sick, others will, too. Until we make up our minds to improve our personal health, we cannot have a healthy economy.

To achieve good health, we will have to begin with basic preventive medicine. Simple common sense just might be the solution. For example, well-fed babies will become healthy, intelligent adults. Won't you care? I would like to suggest that the time to begin is now. Tomorrow may be too late.