Thursday, March 12, 2009

Cholera BAD: A Lion in Our Village

If you read one journal article this year, make it this one, from the New England Journal of Medicine:

A Lion in Our Village — The Unconscionable Tragedy of Cholera in Africa

A lion in our village indeed. This is the under-recognized story of cholera in Africa powerfully told by Drs. Eric Mintz and Richard Guerrant.

We know that cholera is caused by unsafe water and inadequate sanitation, and solved by safe water and improved sanitation. This is not an intractable problem.

From their first handful of words "inexcusable,...completely preventable" to even more potent language later on "Epidemic cholera represents a fundamental failure of governance, and bold and visionary leadership is required if we are to attack its root causes," the authors do justice both to the gravity of the problem and to its solvability in Africa as elsewhere in the developed and developing world.

What's missing is the governance and the political and financial capital to get to solutions - both prevention and treatment - this is fixable and unnecessary.

1 comment:

Courtney said...

You might be interested to watch this news report from an Australian tv program Foreign Correspondent

http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/default.htm

about Cholera in Zimbabwe called Left to Die: graphic and powerful....