Thanks to modern medicine, quite a number of naturally occurring pestilences have been effectively subdued in the past century. Vaccination was and still is the major arsenal employed to defend humanity from the adverse effects of naturally occurring organisms. Some of these organisms seem to have been defeated. The small pox plague, which was first prevented (successfully) via vaccination, has been completely eradicated (so it seems) from the world of humans. Even though the human battle against all diseases (internal/external) continue on the wider front, some diseases have remained stubbornly resistant to modern medicine.
For instance, there is no effective/lasting vaccine for malaria. Even in those afflictions where treatment has satisfactorily worked, new strains of the pestilences keep on emerging, having developed resistance to previous drugs, particularly against the miracle antibiotic-penicillin. Not surprisingly, even the synthetic drugs that are continuously concocted end up becoming increasingly impotent against the fast mutating microbes. Amongst these, we can mention the new strains of tuberculosis. But there are some bright spots. At long last, polio seems to be on its way out of the human world, thanks to concerted efforts by governments, intergovernmental institutions, civil society, market operators, etc., across the globe. According to the recent WHO report polio is now present only in very few countries (Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, etc.) Ethiopia is already a polio-free country. By strategically focusing on primary health services, governments of poor countries (all over the world) have managed to do a whole lot!
In regards to preventable diseases, the achievements of even the least developed countries are nothing less than phenomenon, Ethiopia included. The participation of the wider community in almost all African countries in various primary health projects, deserve serious commendations. For example, about a couple of decades ago, community based organizations were established in Ethiopia to see to it the control, if not eradication, of malaria in the various regions. The free and wide distribution of ‘mosquito nets’ to all and sundry, helped stall the spread of malaria, particularly during the peak seasons. The distribution of these ‘mosquito nets’ also raised awareness on the various protective procedures regarding other vector-spread diseases. The whole collaborative effort (government and all other stakeholders) in fighting the spread of preventable diseases has bore tangible result all across Africa!
We believe, business organizations, various affluent clubs, social organizations, etc., should also be encouraged to do more charitable works in Africa, as is the case in the industrially advanced countries of the world system. We cite a worthy experience, namely the activities of the ‘International Rotary Club’. This organization has been on the frontline battling polio across the world for a long time. It had raised millions of dollars (directly or indirectly) to the lofty objective. On behalf of all our readers we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all Rotarians! We would like to take this opportunity to raise an issue that is much worse than polio and needs urgent attention. It is hoped this lofty cause will also be taken up by international organizations like Rotary International.
In a nutshell, the challenge is the whole planetary ailment, including the biosphere. Admittedly, dealing with the smallest creatures (microbes) had been a challenge on its own right, but compared to what is impending, all the previous commendable achievements seem like a mere walk in the park, so to speak! Unlike the smallest microbes, we are now dealing with the biggest entity on earth (the planet and its life support system)! Fighting pestilences/microbes was the main task of the 20th century. In these early years of the 21st century, the task at hand is to preserve higher forms of lives on earth, including that of our own! We cannot over emphasize the urgency of the matter (Climate change-Dec 2015, Paris Summit, etc.) We plead with global Rotarians and other ‘Good Samaritans’ to take up this critical issue as their major agenda item in the years to come!
Governments in countries like ours must be creatively proactive in goading the well off and other do-gooders to engage in charitable works, here on earth (not only for the life after.) Admittedly, Ethiopia’s ‘nouveau riches’ have not yet graduated from excessive indulgence and conspicuous consumption to more fulfilling altruistic engagements. Sadly our current pseudo-culture, which is mostly inspired by the oligarchy (global & domestic), must be cut to size, just like what the prevailingly leadership in Russia and China are attempting to do. We again clarify our definition of oligarchs; oligarchs are people who steal their ways from rags to riches! Here is a seemingly paradoxical, but reflexively convincing statement by the all time famous philosopher/mathematician. “To be without some of the things you want is an indispensable part of happiness. Bertrand Russell. Good Day!