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Swaziland; a tragedy in the making !


The greatest violation of human rights, is perhaps the loss of human life or the denigration of the quality of life through avoidable health catastrophes.  Such is the case in a nation at the heart of the dark continent of Africa; Swaziland.  This tragedy of human proportions is affecting a great majority of this nation's children.  According to the United Nations 60 percent of Swazi infants are likely to incur brain damage due to a lack of needed vitamins in their diet. 


The report produced by UNICEF announced this past thursday, " the price of the current food shortage crisis is being paid by children and others, who are suffering stunted growth and diminished performance at school and on the job..." Siddharth Nirupam, UNICEF's Swaziland's programme officer for Health and Nutrition made the announcement.  Two thirds of Swazis live in chronic poverty, and it is estimated that around 45 percent of children suffer from anemia, which is preventable.  Many suffer from iodine deficiency which causes thyroid problems and is so prevalent that it has lowered the national I.Q. average by 10 to 15 percentage points.  The increased ill health due to vitamin deficiencies is overburdening the health care system which already is failing to deal with an Aids epidemic.


L.M. / Contributing Correspondent


Posted  September 5, 2004

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