Real Poverty – Cholera Kills More In Ethiopia Than Coronavirus

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We in the rich nations have shut down the economy in order to avoid the deaths stemming from the coronavirus. This may or may not have been a good idea. But it is also true that we actually have economies that it is possible to close down and also that the death toll from Covid-19 is something appreciable, something more than just background noise to our society.

This is not true of everywhere in the world and it hasn’t been true for most of human history. As an example, Ethiopia. The place is currently distinctly richer than most of humanity has been for most of history. In fact, up until about 1750, this would have been considered unparalleled wealth. There was no large society that lived at this level or any sustained period of time in fact. That’s just what history was, poverty deep and grim.

And yet in Ethiopia, the coronavirus toll:

May 14: 272 cases, record for one-day testing
Total confirmed cases = 272 (new cases = 9)
Total recoveries = 108
Total deaths = 5
Active cases = 157
Tests over 24-hours = 3,580
Total tests so far = 45,278

OK, not good, or in fact great in comparison to most of Europe so far but still. This isn’t something we’d actively desire. However, at this very same time also in Ethiopia:

Cholera outbreak killed 11 people in Southern parts of Ethiopia, South Omo area, Dasenech district.

So far over 931 cholera cases and 11 deaths are reported in Dasenech area, according to the state broadcaster – ETV.

Yep, one of the old killers, another infectious disease, is still more important in that country than the new pandemic. In fact, the pandemic of coronavirus is really only a slight variation in that background level of deaths from those old killers, the plagues of mankind down the ages. For it really is true, cholera is killing more in Ethiopia than Covid-19.

Perhaps we should stop whining quite so much, eh?

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Surreptitious Evil
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Surreptitious Evil

The British media, stop whining? That’s a radical suggestion.

Mr Angry
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Mr Angry

Ethiopia has No cases of Cholera at all according to their “government”… But there are tens of thousands of cases of “Acute Watery Diarrhea” of course, this is backed up by the internationally renowned WHO whose accuracy and impartiality are legendary. Sudan is in a similar position, perhaps we can stop Aid payments and see how long it takes for them to change their tune?

asiaseen
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asiaseen

And where does the current D-G of the WHO come from…? Not to mention his history there as health minister in realtion to cholera

Bruno
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Bruno

Better still, whine about both of them. You can’t drink the water out of the taps anywhere in SE Asia except, I was told, in S Korea (still didn’t chance it). Or, to be honest, still in many country places round Mediterranean Europe. Long way to go before we achieve some big public health improvements worldwide.

jgh
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jgh

Korea isn’t South-East Asia. But going by your definition, Hong Kong has perfectly fine potable tap water. If it says “potable water” on the bill then it’s fraud if it’s not.

asiaseen
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asiaseen

And Singapore has perfectly fine water too

Michael van der Riet
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Michael van der Riet

North Atlantic countries, strong healthcare systems, horrifying CV casualty numbers. Somewhere out in the back of nowhere, healthcare systems practically nonexistent, casualties practically none. Yeah, right, sounds legit. It couldn’t be anything to do with the nonexistent healthcare system not having the capacity to classify and report the casualties, could it? It couldn’t be an artifact of the data collection system, could it? People can’t test positive without test kits. Solution: ban test kits.

Bruno
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Bruno

But, S Korea. Strong healthcare systems, fantastic data collection systems, low casualties, no lockdown.

Matt
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Matt

The overwhelming majority of rich-world deaths are combined with known underlying health conditions. There are very few people with an underlying health condition in countries with practically-non-existent-healthcare because said underlying health condition had already killed them before they got the chance to catch the Kung Flu.

john77
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john77

First world problems? Sounds like Arthur Dent asking why the white mice should be so upset about the destruction of Earth by the Vogons – “they paid for it”. Under Haile Selassie Abyssinia was one of the most advanced and most prosperous countries in Africa and would have been included in the “First World” – so it suffered a Marxist revolution with Stalinist farming policies under Haile Mariam and famines and *we* suffered “Band Aid” under Bod Geldof. Comparable with the prosperity of Southern Rhodesia under Roy Welensky and Ian Smith contrasted with the poverty of Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe.… Read more »