Zimbabwe cholera epidemic could top 60,000 – Red Cross


GENEVA, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic is “far from under control” and could exceed 60,000 cases over the next week, the Red Cross warned on Friday.

Torrential rains are expected to spark major flooding and exacerbate the water-borne outbreak that has killed 2,773 people among 50,000 infected since August, the United Nations said.

Related articles:
Zimbabwe slaughters elephants for army (Daily Nation)
Desperate Children Flee Zimbabwe, for Lives Just as Desolate (New York Times)
South Africa: Another Meeting Set on Zimbabwe Crisis
(New York Times)

“The outbreak in Zimbabwe is only increasing in scale, it’s claiming more lives,” Dr. Tammam Aloudat, senior health officer at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told journalists in Geneva.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), a U.N. agency, warned in December that up to 60,000 people could be infected if the country’s worst cholera epidemic spiralled out of control.

“It is difficult to predict where the outbreak will peak. It might even go beyond that nightmare scenario,” Aloudat said.

Read moreZimbabwe cholera epidemic could top 60,000 – Red Cross

Zimbabwe: Dead people are better off

Johannesburg – “Dead people are better off. They don’t need water or sadza (maize porridge). They’re just lying there nicely in their graves.”

Sitting on the stone floor of her bare home in Harare, a Zimbabwean woman poignantly expresses the desperation of millions of Zimbabweans stalked by starvation and disease.

Dinner for this woman, whose name is not given in the 15-minute film on Zimbabwe’s humanitarian crisis screened by Solidarity Peace Trust non-governmental organisation in Johannesburg on Tuesday, is a sachet of juice.

In another scene, a mother holds aloft a wailing baby, its eyes swollen shut, the skin peeling off its stubby legs. The baby is severely malnourished.

The images in the film entitled Death of a Nation, which record the slow strangulation of a population by a government hell-bent on retaining power, were taken between September and November this year.

They show a failed state where women in rural areas pick through withered trees for berries to keep their families alive because they can no longer afford a bag of maize meal.

And families telling of how they spent the day holding up a drip in an overcrowded clinic for a relative infected with cholera only to watch them die for lack of medication.

Over half Zimbabwe’s population of 12 million cannot adequately feed itself, stratospheric inflation means a tub of margarine costs US$9.65 and hundreds are dying of cholera, an easily preventable disease.

Read moreZimbabwe: Dead people are better off

Zimbabwe: Civilisation in reverse

Zimbabwe’s tragedy defies the world to look away

The townships of suburban Harare once boasted water and sewage systems that were the envy of Africa. They are now as broken as Zimbabwe itself. Raw sewage spills from manhole covers and is pumped into the city’s main reservoir. Thousands depend on the generosity of “water samaritans” lucky enough to have their own boreholes. Where even the poorest had taps and toilets of their own, people are queueing up at hand pumps, one engineer laments. “Civilisation has gone in reverse.”

People are also dying. A cholera outbreak that has killed more than 500 people could infect 60,000 by March, according to Oxfam. The outbreak is spreading four times faster than usual for want of transport to take victims to hospital, and basic medicines for those who get there. To contain the epidemic the Health Minister has advised Zimbabweans to stop shaking hands, but it has already spread to South Africa.

In Zimbabwe’s rural hinterland five million people will soon need food aid that the World Food Programme cannot afford to distribute. The Government is powerless to count the number dying of hunger, much less hand out food itself. But aid workers have seen children foraging in rubbish dumps alongside wild animals, and in Matabeleland one story encapsulates the despair of a nation – the story of a woman who, unable to feed her children, fed them and herself a fruit that she knew was poisonous. They were buried together.

Such are the tragedies that lend meaning to Zimbabwe’s statistics; to its 90 per cent unemployment, its 230 million per cent inflation and its average life expectancy of barely 40 years. In 1990, Zimbabweans could expect to live to 63.

Read moreZimbabwe: Civilisation in reverse

Mob runs riot as Zimbabwe runs out of water

Children go to fetch water in Harare
The Zimbabwe National Water Authority turned off the pumps in the capital after it ran out of chemicals needed to to purify supplies (Desmond Kwande/AFP/Getty Images)

Water supplies to residents in Harare were cut by the authorities yesterday as Zimbabwe’s cholera epidemic tightened its grip and the city witnessed its worst unrest for a decade.

The Zimbabwe National Water Authority turned off the pumps in the capital after it ran out of purifying chemicals. With cholera cases soaring above 11,000 across the country, and an anthrax outbreak ravaging the the countryside, David Parirenyatwa, the Health Minister, urged Zimbabweans to stop shaking hands to avoid spreading disease.

Companies and government offices, especially those in high-rise buildings, were sending workers home by midday as lavatories became blocked. “My office stinks and the toilet is a disgusting site,” said Mary Sakupwene, a secretary. “I won’t go back until the water’s on again.”

Read moreMob runs riot as Zimbabwe runs out of water

Vaccines and Medical Experiments on Children, Minorities, Woman and Inmates (1845 – 2007)

Think U.S. health authorities have never conducted outrageous medical experiments on children, women, minorities, homosexuals and inmates? Think again: This timeline, originally put together by Dani Veracity (a NaturalNews reporter), has been edited and updated with recent vaccination experimentation programs in Maryland and New Jersey. Here’s what’s really happening in the United States when it comes to exploiting the public for medical experimentation:

(1845 – 1849) J. Marion Sims, later hailed as the “father of gynecology,” performs medical experiments on enslaved African women without anesthesia. These women would usually die of infection soon after surgery. Based on his belief that the movement of newborns’ skull bones during protracted births causes trismus, he also uses a shoemaker’s awl, a pointed tool shoemakers use to make holes in leather, to practice moving the skull bones of babies born to enslaved mothers (Brinker).

(1895)

New York pediatrician Henry Heiman infects a 4-year-old boy whom he calls “an idiot with chronic epilepsy” with gonorrhea as part of a medical experiment (“Human Experimentation: Before the Nazi Era and After”).

(1896)

Dr. Arthur Wentworth turns 29 children at Boston’s Children’s Hospital into human guinea pigs when he performs spinal taps on them, just to test whether the procedure is harmful (Sharav).

(1906)

Harvard professor Dr. Richard Strong infects prisoners in the Philippines with cholera to study the disease; 13 of them die. He compensates survivors with cigars and cigarettes. During the Nuremberg Trials, Nazi doctors cite this study to justify their own medical experiments (Greger, Sharav).

(1911)

Dr. Hideyo Noguchi of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research publishes data on injecting an inactive syphilis preparation into the skin of 146 hospital patients and normal children in an attempt to develop a skin test for syphilis. Later, in 1913, several of these children’s parents sue Dr. Noguchi for allegedly infecting their children with syphilis (“Reviews and Notes: History of Medicine: Subjected to Science: Human Experimentation in America before the Second World War”).

(1913)

Medical experimenters “test” 15 children at the children’s home St. Vincent’s House in Philadelphia with tuberculin, resulting in permanent blindness in some of the children. Though the Pennsylvania House of Representatives records the incident, the researchers are not punished for the experiments (“Human Experimentation: Before the Nazi Era and After”).

(1915)

Dr. Joseph Goldberger, under order of the U.S. Public Health Office, produces Pellagra, a debilitating disease that affects the central nervous system, in 12 Mississippi inmates to try to find a cure for the disease. One test subject later says that he had been through “a thousand hells.” In 1935, after millions die from the disease, the director of the U.S Public Health Office would finally admit that officials had known that it was caused by a niacin deficiency for some time, but did nothing about it because it mostly affected poor African-Americans. During the Nuremberg Trials, Nazi doctors used this study to try to justify their medical experiments on concentration camp inmates (Greger; Cockburn and St. Clair, eds.).

Read moreVaccines and Medical Experiments on Children, Minorities, Woman and Inmates (1845 – 2007)