Within the framework of the child health revolution to which UNICEF is strongly committed, and in the specific domain of oral rehydration as one of its main supporting techniques, the securing of safe drinking water stands as a foremost priority. Actions toward this end, however, are more often than not impeded by a variety of technical and economic problems.

Over the past few years, a team of Lebanese researchers, headed by Professor Aftim Acra, Chairman of the Department of Environmental Health at the American University of Beirut, worked intensively on the problem of water disinfection, taking into account the environmental conditions prevailing in this part of the world. Their studies led to the discovery of a simple method for the attainment of this goal based on exposing the water to sun rays for a given period of time. This practically costless method has been proven to eliminate all pathogenic organisms from the water, thus rendering it perfectly fit for human consumption .

One remarkable thing about the method in question is that it should be most suitable for adoption in the developing countries where fuel is scarce and sunshine is bountifully available. The matter assumes an evident value where the practical aspects of the oral rehydration technique are involved. It is also in full harmony with UNICEF's eagerness to promote <<affordable>> approaches aimed at optimal results on the road to a better tomorrow for children. For these reasons, the printing and distribution of the present book is being sponsored by the UNICEF Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa.

This venture is also a step in the direction of the much-desired technical co-operation among developing countries. Moreover, it is certainly touching to see that Lebanon in this instance is at the giving end and that, in spite of the grave internal disturbances it is suffering from, this country is still able to offer valid contributions to the welfare and progress of humanity.

  Victor Soler-Sala
UNICEF Regional Director
for the Middle East
and North Africa