Third World Epidemic
The world is used to regular reports warning of population outstripping Third World countries’ ability to feed themselves. Stand by for a shock. The tide is turning in the race between population control and famine.
Evident only a few years ago, booming population growth will soon cease as death rates from aids soar. In some African countries, one quarter of the population is hiv-positive. Increasingly these are professionals possessing skills sorely needed by the underdeveloped regions: doctors, teachers, engineers and administrators. In 1998 who reported 2.3 million deaths as a result of aids.
In a chilling observation of the aids phenomenon, Peter Piot, executive director of un-aids, the United Nations agency in charge of battling aids, states, “aids has been with us for just 20 years and is already killing more people than any other infectious disease. It is the most formidable pathogen to confront modern medicine” (The Independent, March 28).
In only two years, aids has rocketed out of ninth place of the world’s killer diseases to first place!
Although barely contained in the West, aids is simply out of control in the Third World. It is now the biggest single cause of death in Africa. In less than three years, Zimbabwe will experience zero population growth, due to aids’ grim harvest. Within five years its population will be in decline!
The World Watch Institute in Washington says that it expects Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Swaziland to follow suit. The World Bank reports that it expects a loss of 15,000 teachers in Tanzania within the next ten years due to aids. Within five years it expects half of Malawi’s skilled townspeople to perish from the disease.
In the Third World, aids is starting to rival the infamous Black Death which left 20 million dead in its wake in 14th century Europe.