Wednesday, October 28, 2009


H1N1. H1N1. H1N1.
It’s all over the news.
A hot topic.
Is it because of the numbers of people dying as a result?
Is it because it causes a potential global threat?
Or is it because it is a disease causing ‘havoc’ in the West?

I understand, being sick with H1N1 or the ‘normal’ flu is not nice.
I know it causes more work for those taking care of the infected.
Naturally my heart goes out to those who have lost family members.
And yes, I am happy that I have not been affected by it.
But, my life does not revolve around it.
I find myself wondering how it’s captured yet another headline.
Is it the most important disease we’re battling in this world today?

I suppose whether or not it is top priority is a matter of perspective.
Is your perspective from one of the countries in the top of the human development index?
A country where you are not faced with death on your doorstep everyday?
A place in which political gain is so important you must continue debating over such issues?
Or are you from a country at the bottom of the list?
A place where other issues are much more demanding?
Issues like malaria and the need for basic childhood vaccinations.

Every 30 seconds, malaria takes the life of another child.
Yearly it brings death to 1 million people.
A disease that is preventable and curable yet takes the toll of so many.
What are politicians doing about this?
And what about the 1.02 billion malnourished people in the world?
10 million people dying of hunger and hunger-related diseases.
But who cares?

In the West we are quick to find solutions to our own problems.
Some use these problems for political gain, world power and fame.
But what about the problems in the developing world?
Do they not matter?
What about the people born into a world of poverty?
People without a voice in this world.
Where is the justice?

If their issues would enter ‘our world’ we would be quick to act.
Every bed would have a mosquito net.
Every fever would be properly checked out.
Access to doctors and drugs would be scaled up.
After all, wasn’t malaria once an issue in the West?
Yes, it is their problem and they need to step up to the plate too.
But couldn’t we be doing more to assist them.

I am not trying to say that no attention should be paid to H1N1.
It does have the potential to become a bigger problem.
It is real and maybe vaccines will help prevent further spread.
But the much bigger problems are out there too.
And I want to see more of that in the headlines.
I want our world leaders to look seriously at the impact they can have in the developing world.
What I want is social justice.

1 comment:

Marianne said...

Very well written, maybe you should send it to The Hague and to Wahington DC....

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~