Article Text

Stamps in paediatrics
  1. M K DAVIES, Consultant Cardiologist
  1. Selly Oak Hospital
  2. Birmingham, UK
  3. Sandwell Hospital
  4. Birmingham, UK
    1. A J MAYNE, Consultant Paediatrician
    1. Selly Oak Hospital
    2. Birmingham, UK
    3. Sandwell Hospital
    4. Birmingham, UK

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      Over the next months the Archives of Disease in Childhood and the Fetal and Neonatal edition will feature a series of “Stamps in paediatrics”. Postage stamps and cancellation marks provide an excellent advertising medium, which has been fully utilised over the years in promoting health care and public awareness campaigns. In terms of medical postage stamps, paediatric and child health/welfare issues have been some of the most prolific, particularly in the less well developed countries, and are aimed at raising funds for child welfare organisations or disseminating information to the population regarding child health issues. Many national and international organisations such as UNICEF, Save the Children Fund, and the World Health Organisation have used postage stamp advertising to promote their individual or collective campaigns.

      The most frequent paediatric campaigns featured on the stamps have been the promotion of breast feeding/nutrition, growth monitoring, immunisation, and oral rehydration therapy—well illustrated by the two sets of UNICEF stamps from Zimbabwe (1987) and Zambia (1988). Both issues were part of the Child Survival Campaign and emphasise one of the main features of the successful use of this communication medium. Pictorial rather than linguistic messages are the most effective as they are understood equally well across all national and international boundaries and do not require literacy to be widely and easily interpreted.

      Selections of paediatric stamps from around the world covering a range of aspects in child health and welfare will be incorporated in the future issues.

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