9:01am

Sat December 11, 2010
Shots - Health News Blog

5 Public Health Gifts For The Person Who Has Everything

Does Uncle Bob really need another pair of socks this Christmas? Maybe he'd be more pleased with a bottle of deworming tablets from UNICEF dedicated in his name. For $36, the pills will prevent 994 kids from getting intestinal worms, the agency says.

Aunt Sue, too, might get more of a lift from $75 breastfeeding classes for women in need than that potholder you had in mind. Sign up with Mercy Corps, an international relief group.

A slew of nonprofit groups hope you'll do some gift-giving good this season, and the variety of options to choose from is impressive.

Feel-good charity gift-giving during the holidays has exploded in recent years. Just look at Heifer International, which has shown there's a healthy appetite for donating farm animals to poor families in the developing world.

UNICEF, Mercy Corps, and others have caught the drift and are now pushing their own unique lines of philanthropic gifts. Oxfam even has a site called Oxfam America Unwrapped, for your to get all magnanimous on. And to see "gifts in action," they've even provided a series of videos.

Shots perused the health categories on a variety of charity sites, and compiled this subjective list of some of the most interesting global health holiday gift ideas this year.

Breastfeeding Classes in Indonesia from Mercy Corps -- $75

In Jakarta, Indonesia, one city where Mercy Corps works, breastfeeding rates are exceptionally low. Mercy Corps promotes breastfeeding there with neighborhood-level support groups, training programs and events that raise awareness about its advantages.

Cooking stoves from Oxfam -- $25

A fuel-efficient stove distributed by Oxfam reduces smoke inhalation, deforestation, and the time women spend gathering scarce firewood.

Deworming Tablets and Oral Rehydration Salts from UNICEF -- $36 and $79.81

For those loved ones who will revel in treating acute intestinal worms and dehydration from diarrhea in the youngest, poorest kids, UNICEF offers bottles of deworming tablets and packages of 1,000 sachets of oral rehydration salts.

Community Health Book Gift Set from Hesperian, a non-profit publisher of health books -- $50

A two-book set, which includes HIV, Heath and Your Community and Where There Is No Doctor, provides health workers with important information on HIV.

Bicycle or Motorbike for a community health worker from UNICEF -- $86.25 or $2,697.31

In many countries, community health workers have to travel to remote areas where there is no public transport. A bicycles and motorcycle from UNICEF can help them over mountain passes and dirt roads.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.