March 21, 2005

Death By Disruption

In Africa, so often torn by civil war, there are two ways to die - through violence, or through disease.

A recent study in the Congo concluded: Most deaths, the survey found, were due to maladies that are easily preventable and treatable in other parts of the world, such as malaria, diarrhea, respiratory infections and malnutrition. Less than 2 percent of the deaths were caused by violence. (nytimes)

Flight is one of the major causes of the disruption - people flee their subsistence plots and move into the forests and refugee camps. The old and young and sick die from the conditions, neighbourhoods and family support systems are scattered. The militias loot the hospitals and pharmacys and take whatever food and equipment they find. Doctors and nurses flee along with everyone else.

And then once the fighting stops, and people begin to return to their villages, they are poorer than ever - land has gone uncultivated, houses are destroyed, livestock gone. They start again with even less than they had before - and wait for the next round of fighting.

Posted by phreq at March 21, 2005 09:35 AM | TrackBack
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