I was listening to the delightful Dr Karl on 2BL this morning as I drove home through the Blue Mountains, coming back from TMFP(tm) land.
by the way, it was snowing from Mount Vic through to Wentworth Falls. so lovely! I'm just a low-land-lubber who mostly sticks to the coast and so I've never actually driven through fresh, drifting, pretty-as-nothing-else snow. I bought a latte and went down to the Three Sisters to sit in the car and have a short marvel. of course, you couldn't see a thing except the aforementioned atmospheric wonder. and of course, I never, ever want to have to deal with normal life with anything more inconvenient than Sydney summer storms, but hey, it's just great to enjoy when you stumble across it. someone had even built the teeniest tiniest snowman on one of the entrance pillars in front of the Carrington. yes, it had a little face and the weeniest buttons down the front...
I'll stop now, I'm getting gushy.
back to the point!
Dr Karl was saying that the World Health Organisation has had a world-wide campaign to eradicate Polio for some years now. they had been going really well and by 2003 there was only 6 countries with Polio cases still being presented...
but then some religious leaders in the north one of those 6 countries, Nigeria (top of the list along with India with the most cases) had insisted on a ban for the vaccine, claiming that USA was contaminating the supply to render their women infertile, or contaminating with carcinogens, or several other totally paranoid reasons, because of anti-muslim sentiments. apparently the government didn't stop or discourage this, because of public opinion and according to Karl, because they didn't want to stick the $$$ involved in the vaccination campaign.
so now, instead of the goal of polio being eradicted by 2005, there are 16 more countries, previously considered polio-free, with new cases which can be tracked back to West Africa, as a direct result of Nigeria's religious leaders being utter PRATFACES. they are - Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Indonesia, Mali, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Togo and Yemen.
here's what the ABC had to say back in 2003 -
Nigerian Islamic leader declares UN vaccines unsafe
West Africa impedes polio eradication
later, articles in 2004 from the Age,
>Nigeria blamed for spread of polio
and the ABC (transcript from PM on 2BL) -
>WHO fears polio epidemic
then Nigeria finally bothered to get back on board with vaccination in 2004, but only after being satisfied with the supplies they got from Indonesia. here's an article from the Nine News website -
Nigeria launches polio vaccination bid
finally, some recent news from the ABC (transcript from AM) -
Polio outbreak in Indonesia
also, for more info, here's the website of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative
also, ARGH!!!! this sort of thing totally shits me. people in authority, be it religious or otherwise, whose petty-minded fuckwittery results in innocents having to live with a permanent affliction.
I really, really hate that. it makes me want to do terrible things to the people involved. in this case there should be some general maiming and retribution, at the very least, along with infection with Polio so they can suffer for the rest of their lives. which will be much, much shorter than the poor buggers (mostly children) who have decades of callipers (one L or two? you decide) and pain to look forward to.
Harry, I have a job for you. bring the sword along, we're going to need it.
*storms off in a huff of self-righteousness* >