marți, 1 martie 2011

III: Ace şi...fanatici musulmani

Poliomelită. Ăsta e un cuvânt care mă zbârleşte complet. De ce? Păi cum de ce? De asta:

In 1988 a început o accţiune mondială ce avea ca scop eradicarea poliomelitei, la care au participat UNICEF, Fundaţia Rotary şi Organizația Mondială a Sănătății, reducând cazurile de poliomelită cu 99%, de la aprox. 350.000 de cazuri în 1988 la 483 de cazuri  in 2001, apoi cu o medie de 1000 de cazuri pe an. Dacă s-ar reuşi eradicarea, această boală ar fi doar a treia eradicată din istorie, după variolă (1979) şi pesta bovină (2010) În multe regiuni ale lumii poliomelita e un coşmar care a trecut. Doar doi stropi de fluid pot să te protejeze de această boală monstruasă:

Dar în anumite ţări, ea face încă ravagii. În India, Nigeria, Pakistan şi Afganistan nu s-a reuşit imunizarea. Nu numai atât, dar călătorii din acele zone au dus-o înapoi în zone de unde era deja eradicată. De ce? Oamenii s-au străduit, şi localnicii, şi medicii şi voluntarii. Fonduri imense au fost turnate în această acţiune şi s-au implicat specialişti, organizaţii internaţionale, voluntari din toată lumea. Dar a intervenit fanatismul religios. Iată o mărturie de la faţa locului:

Fragment din "God is not Great" de Christopher Hitchens

In the fall of 2001 I was in Calcutta with the magnificent photographer Sebastiaio Salgado, a Brazilian genius whose studies with the camera have made vivid the lives of migrants, war victims, and those workers who toil to extract primary products from mines and quarries and forests. On this occasion, he was acting as an envoy of UNICEF and promoting his cause as a crusader—in the positive sense of that term—against the scourge of polio. Thanks to the work of inspired and enlightened scientists like Jonas Salk, it is now possible to immunize children against this ghastly malady for a negligible cost: the few cents or pennies that it takes to administer two drops of oral vaccine to the mouth of an infant. Advances in medicine had managed to put the fear of smallpox behind us, and it was confidently expected that another year would do the same for polio. Humanity itself had seemingly united on this proposition. In several countries, including El Salvador, warring combatants had proclaimed cease-fires in order to allow the inoculation teams to move freely. Extremely poor and backward countries had mustered the resources to get the good news to every village: no more children need be killed, or made useless and miserable, by this hideous disease. Back home in Washington, where that year many people were still fearfully staying indoors after the trauma of 9/11, my youngest daughter was going dauntlessly door to door on Halloween, piping "Trick or Treat for UNICEF" and healing or saving, with every fistful of small change, children she would never meet. One had that rare sense of participating in an entirely positive enterprise.
The people of Bengal, and particularly the women, were enthusiastic and inventive. I remember one committee meeting, where staunch Calcutta hostesses planned without embarrassment to team up with the city's prostitutes to spread the word into the farthest corners of society. Bring your children, no questions asked, and let them swallow the two drops of fluid. Someone knew of an elephant a few miles out of town that might be hired to lead a publicity parade. Everything was going well: in one of the poorest cities and states of the world there was to be a new start. And then we began to hear of a rumor. In some outlying places, Muslim die-hards were spreading the story that the droplets were a plot. If you took this sinister Western medicine, you would be stricken by impotence and diarrhea (a forbidding and depressing combination).
This was a problem, because the drops have to be administered twice—the second time as a booster and confirmation of immunity— and because it takes only a few uninoculated people to allow the disease to survive and revive, and to spread back through contact and the water supply. As with smallpox, eradication must be utter and complete. I wondered as I left Calcutta if West Bengal would manage to meet the deadline and declare itself polio-free by the end of the next year. That would leave only pockets of Afghanistan and one or two other inaccessible regions, already devastated by religious fervor, before we could say that another ancient tyranny of illness had been decisively overthrown.
In 2005 I learned of one outcome. In northern Nigeria—a country that had previously checked in as provisionally polio-free—a group of Islamic religious figures issued a ruling, or fatwa, that declared the polio vaccine to be a conspiracy by the United States (and, amazingly, the United Nations) against the Muslim faith. The drops were designed, said these mullahs, to sterilize the true believers. Their intention and effect was genocidal. Nobody was to swallow them, or administer them to infants. Within months, polio was back, and not just in northern Nigeria. Nigerian travelers and pilgrims had already taken it as far as Mecca, and spread it back to several other polio-free countries, including three African ones and also faraway Yemen. The entire boulder would have to be rolled back right up to the top of the mountain.

 Mulţi oameni implicaţi activ, o grămadă de fonduri, multă muncă, toate pentru a eradica o boală, pentru a ajuta nişte oameni, toate astea nu pot trece peste hotărârea unor fanatici conspiraţionişti de a stopa imunizarea. Un alt caz în care fanatismul ucide. Nu pe fanatici, ci pe ei:

Da, desigur, musulmanii ăştia.....În episodul următor, fanaticii lumii "civilizate".
Va urma.

3 comentarii:

  1. Lasă, nu te mai isteriza, că e mai bine pentru evoluţie să moară nişte oameni care nu au dezvoltat imunitate.

  2. Anonimule, tu nu ai imunitate la poliomelita. Nimeni nu are. Iar daca nu ne protejeaza imunitatea de turma, kaput.

    Iar "pentru evolutie" nu e "mai bine" nimic, ca nu e persoana. Pentru specie e mai bine sa nu ne manance o boala care nu discrimineaza.

    Esti vizat, ca toata lumea, chiar daca ai vaccinul facut. Enjoy.

  3. Da' cat de util ( pentru evolutie ) e sa pier si eu, vaccinat, pentru ca vecinii ( de scara, de strada, de continent ) sunt idioti si nu se vaccineaza ?