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[afro-nets] Polio Eradication within reach - Ban Ki-Moon (3)

  • From: "James Boylson" <seamusb32@yahoo.com>
  • Date: Thu, 14 Feb 2008 07:01:11 -0800 (PST)

Polio Eradication: giving "short shrift" to the private/humanitarian aid sector!

Peter, et al: How about giving some credit where credit is due!

Several years ago, Rotary International (and I'm NOT a Rotarian, so this isn't an affiliation self-adulation piece!), at their highest organizational level, committed themselves to work on and contribute to the eradication of the resurgent outbreak; mainly in developing nations, and predominantly in our collectively beloved Africa.
Their "2 Drops" program was exceptionally well planned, organized and dynamically carried out. And they stopped only when the incidence of new cases was virtually negligible to nil.

This same organization has similarly declared - starting in 2007 - that Water Resources and Purification/control of water-borne diseases to be their new #1 international priority.
Unfortunately, both they and the bulk of the NGO's & other service organizations - including some at the International Organizations' level - are so beholden/wedded to the very deep pockets Chemical Industry they can't seem to bring themselves to seriously considering alternative purification agents, no matter how well proven or factually superior.

Anyone with ANY basic health training, by now knows that Chlorine - a proven Carcinogen! - is NOT intended for ingestion; at least partially* purifying large amounts of water - Pools, laundry, etc. (but NOT baby baths!) - is practical, because it is so cheap (at least in its basic forms; not so much in more recent 'tablet' forms). [NB: *Partially, because it doesn't really dispatch ALL the major pathogens - specifically including encapsulated parasites, cystic and fungal forms, unless also boiled; and has now shown to be bypassing even more basic bacterial forms that have become mutated/drug strain resistant.]

Considering that WHO & National stats clearly demonstrate that as high as 40% of ALL mortality rates are directly related to water-borne diseases in many, if not most, developing nations; PLUS, the wide range/type of killer diseases involved, combined with the fact that - like infants under 5 - HIV infected adults, for whom such diseases may once have been only a passing illness, but are now a death sentence!
Sadly, it seems your group treats this entire critical, inter-disciplinary health area rather cavalierly. You are often railing at inefficiently (if not wasted) scarce resources; yet when there are appropriate technology alternatives - proven much more curatively, as well as cost, effective - they are largely, perhaps even TOTALLY, ignored. Are you concerned that professional Peers are going to charge you with "Homeopathic Heresy"?

I'm sincerely perplexed as to why this area/field of your profession doesn't seem to register as anywhere near a "burning issue" for your Public Health minded network.

Please, anyone: Edify me on this point, as I'm quickly becoming thoroughly disenchanted with this seemingly professional parochialism!

Jim Boylson,
WHAI Board of Directors/Agent for Africa and International Agribusiness Pathogen Control Issues.
Stakeholder Members, UN/WHO-Home Healthy Water Network.