The threat of pandemics
May 24 2016 11:22 PM
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Dear Sir,

Mosquito-borne yellow fever is on the rise in many parts of the world.
There are 600 kinds of those tiny, annoying and extremely deadly creatures which kill 3mn people every year, over 1mn in Africa alone.
The mosquito is mankind’s greatest foe. Its impact on mankind is monumental.
The reappearance of yellow fever is a graphic reminder of how vulnerable mankind is to infectious diseases.
Through the centuries, man’s greatest threat often has not been natural disasters or warfare but the microscopic creatures with which we share the earth.
When epidemics break out, man has often been able to do little more than let the epidemics run their deadly course.
Has the threat disappeared or is it lurking in the background, waiting to strike again?
Our sense of history is skewed and our understanding of the relative nature of threats is lacking.
Because of this we are ill-prepared to face the coming biological storm.
Throughout history, infectious diseases have been the great killer of humanity.
Billions have perished, nations and entire cultures have been destroyed, untold lives met with tragedy.
Disease was the foundational terror of humanity.
Infectious diseases are on the increase throughout the world.
Pathogens are increasingly immune to current drugs and new drugs are no longer being developed.
New pathogens are emerging due to human population growth and environmental degradation.
Nature continually throws challenges at human civilisation in the form of infectious diseases, the devastating diseases that periodically emerge remind us how thin is the veneer that separates our high-tech society from personal and community disaster.
Most people assume that medical science will shield us from disasters in previous centuries.
We are more vulnerable than we suppose.
The horrendous precipitators to pandemics are reported every day in the media.
The deadly march is from war to famine to pestilence.
Mankind is on the precipice.

Farouk Araie, [email protected]

A right decision

Dear Sir,

Kenya is right on the closure of the Dadaab Refugee Camp for security reasons.
It is becoming hard to know who is a genuine refugee or a terrorist at the camp.
However, the countries where these refugees come from are not fully stable.
Because of this, the United Nations believes its sudden closure will bring more problems.
I believe the best solution to this debacle is to offer the refugees countries they can chose to go. Countries that are refugee-friendly and stable.
This will eventually cool down the impending impasse and it will be a win-win situation for all.
Permanent solutions need to be provided for those refugees who want to return home when things become normal in their countries.
As the saying goes, East or West, home is the best.

George Matubia, [email protected]



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