Talking books to inform Afghan women about health

Afghan women need health education but as 80% of them are illiterate, traditional pamphlets are just useless.

The solution may lay LeapPad, a cheap electronic book found in suburban U.S. homes and designed to teach reading, and recites out loud to kids when they touch the words on the page.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services plans to buy 20,000 LeapPads to educate rural Afghan women about the benefits of immunization, the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases and the perils of some homespun remedies, such as rubbing dirt into cuts to heal them. The special LeapPads talk in either Pashto or Dari, Afghanistan’s two most common languages.

“If this works, we can make this a tool across the world,” says Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson. “We can use it for AIDS in Africa and for health care in Iraq.”

From Wall Street Journal and Silicon Valey.