Friday, November 13, 2009


Movember is a tradition originated by some men in Australia. In order to raise awareness and money for prostate cancer research, they do funny things with their facial hair for the month of November. That is why it's called "Movember" -- mustache + November = Movember.

So, in light of this tradition, for the second consecutive year I'll be participating in Movember. To see what I did last year, click here. This year, however, I decided, with my wife's misguided consent, to grow only a mustache.

Since Halloween is the day before Movember began, I first had a bit of fun with my facial hair, rocking the walrus-style fu manchu. Goose Gossage would be proud!

The following day I shaved off the bottom portions, and moved my sideburns up a bit too. So now I'm sporting the "I look way too much like my dad at this age" facial hair do.

Last year I did this to raise awareness for autism (click here to read more about that). This year, however, I want to shed light on another issue: namely, child mortality. While the rates of infants and under-five children who die in the US are relatively low (6.3 and 7.8 out of 1000 live births respectively) [SOURCE 1, 2], there are many places in the world where this is not the case.

In fact, there are five countries who have under-five mortality rates at or above 20%. Those countries and the number of under-five death per 1000 live births are Mali (199.7), Liberia (205.2), Angola (230.8), Afghanistan (235.4), and Sierra Leone (278.1) [SOURCE 1, 2]. Here is a map [SOURCE] which highlights well the areas of our world that are struggling with this issue the most (dark red indicates the highest rates):

What are the causes of death for these children? Lots of things, many of which are preventable, such as infections, diarrhea, malaria, measles, and malnutrition [SOURCE]. In other words, with the provision of medication and educations, some of these deaths could be prevented.

In the remaining days of Movember I am going to be thinking about how I can get involved in the solution to this issue. I hope you'll join me on this journey!

For more information on child mortality, I recommend the World Health Organization's websiteas a starting point.


phil_style said...

I hope you realise that after Movember comes Beardcember?

Pema OngC said...

Great stuff

Anonymous said...

as an Australian female, I feel a very strong need to comment on the reasoning behind Movember and this post...

firstly, you totally got the 'Movember' thing right - down here, we tend to call a man's moustache his 'mo', because we're fairly laid back (lazy?) and like to shorten everything!

but! I feel that using this idea to bring light and attention to any cause other than prostate cancer, is defeating the purpose of why we do this...

a 'mo' is something that only a man can grow (well, mostly!), and prostate cancer is something that is very common in men here in Aus (even higher than breast cancer in women!). so this is a cause that is a little fun for men supporting men...

please keep doing your thing to bring attention to your causes, but try to be creative and come up with your own idea of how to - don't take from one cause to support another.

sorry if I sound 'bitchy' ... this is just my humble opinion.