Sunday, August 23, 2015

Do Gooders at risk (or Polio bye bye)

when I worked in a rural hospital in a small wartorn African country, the year I left the violence exploded and at least 30 fellow missionaries were killed or injured by various groups. I was sent home after a gang invaded a mission, rounded up all the sisters and priests, and took them out and shot them. One priest fainted and survived. Another elderly nun was "overlooked" by a young insurgent (who told her to keep quiet) and who risked his life by saying no one was in the small room, that it was a storage room.

And this doesn't include those who hit landmines or simply "disappeared".

No, not Islamic terrorism: The "insurgents" were communist, and funded by the World Council of (leftist Christian) churches. You know, the group who loved insurgents but couldn't manage to notice the persecution of Christians behind the (then) Iron Curtain (or the thousands killed in China for that matter due to the Red Guard uprising at that time).

So nothing has changed: Politically correct terrorists can't be named...

But at least we didn't face being Obama has made it clear we are fair game for anyone who needs money (and I say we, because here in the Philippines, foreigners, Chinoys, businessmen, and passing poor people are all sources of money for various insurgent groups, including the NPA and the Muslim group spin offs who need money to make bombs.

Why do I point out Obama? Because he said it's okay to pay ransom. That means we are fair game, like the Italians, who pay huge ransoms. True, families do it anyway, but irregular ransoms are smaller than ones raised with official okays: and more importantly, it means that if we are kidnapped, the bad guys don't have to worry about the Philippine special forces raiding the place...

So what brought this up?

StrategyPage notes that over 300 do gooders were killed last year. It's not clear that this included locals or just outsiders who are there to help.

August 22, 2015:  It continues to get more dangerous for foreign aid workers, especially in places like Afghanistan and Syria. Afghanistan has long been the most dangerous place for aid workers and 2014 was one of the worst years. Worldwide 329 foreign aid workers were attacked. Some 36 percent were killed (sometimes after being kidnapped) and 37 percent were kidnapped and, for most of them, later released. Most of the violence is related to local gunmen (bandits, rebels, Islamic terrorists or warlord militias) seeking to obtain aid supplies or cash from the aid organization. It’s the old extortion racket and if the victims don’t cooperate there is often retaliation.

Not all are "westerners":  A lot of Pinoys do that kind of work for NGO's: hey, it's a job, and the Catholic culture blesses such work (the same reason for so many Catholic nurses and firemen or Jewish doctors in the US: it's a mitzvah).

But the do gooders do help locals, despite the fact that some d who are PC love to point out their flaws or sins.

Are you aware that Africa is "polio free" for one year?

The BBC corrects the headline saying that there have been no "wild" cases there, because the dirty little secret of the oral polio vaccine is that a tiny percentage of the (live, weakened) polio virus giving in the vaccine mutate to the real thing, and if vulnerable unvaccinated folks (elderly, religious refusers, Hollywood anti vaccine activist types) are around, they can catch it from the kid. This was actually a problem when the mullahs stopped the vaccine: too many unvaccinated kids allowed a small epidemic of the vaccine related polio. (in places like the USA, "herd immunity" kept the disease from spreading, since enough were immune not to catch or spread it).

The way to stop the mutated virus from causing problems is to use a "dead" vaccine: i.e. the old Salk vaccine (AKA IPV) of the 1950's. 

Polio eradication this week:
  • This week, Pakistan will become the second polio-endemic country to introduce the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) into its routine immunization system. More than half the global birth cohort is now receiving at least one dose of IPV through routine immunization systems as a result of the biggest globally synchronized vaccine introduction in history. Read more on the status of IPV introductions.
- See more at:

But untrained people can give the sugar cube, but it takes training and a lot of syringes to give thousands of shots.

So now, the idea is to add one shot to give partial immunity and then give the weakened live virus on the sugar cube.

the disease is being eradicated even in places where the Mullahs have opposed it and the Islamic terrorists have killed people who were giving it out.

However, the mullahs aren't the only ignorant ones: as the BBC report reminds us, the Catholic bishops in Kenya opposed the vaccine too, because it was made from aborted fetuses or were unsafe or something.

Yeah, some very strict far right Catholic sites are aboard the green anti vaccine agenda for various reasons, (the latest is that some versions of various vaccines are grown on stem cells developed from fetuses aborted years ago) and the Bishops picked up the urban legend from them that the vaccine contained estrogen (previous urban legends were that pregnant women were given tetanus vaccine to make them miscarry, not to stop neonatal tetanus, alas a common problem, and of course, measles vaccine causes sterilization is another urban legend).

Luckily, no one listens to the bishops, even in Africa, when they talk outside their area of expertise (heck, they don't listen to them when they DO talk in their area of expertise: most Catholic women use birth control, and of course, our pious Catholic politicians here in the Philippines accept bribes and kill their rivals along with the rest of them). (I should note that liberal reporters fail to notice this when they laud Francis' green agenda as if ordinary Catholics will say yes sir and obey him: His opinion here is just that, an opinion. He is only "infallible" about faith and morals, not science or politics).

well, anyway, the website for the Polio eradication initiative says that Pakistan is now polio free too. Alas it takes a couple of years to make sure, since it can easily be imported and new epidemics can occur.

The Taliban and the Nigerian Boko's killed quite a few giving out the vaccine, but the people don't want crippled children so it is being done anyway. The vaccines are being given out even in war torn Somalia and Yemen.

So where are all the stories about brave Muslim health care workers risking death to save the lives of these children? Anyone? ANYONE?

Funding via the UN, WHO, the Rotary clubs, the Saudis and others. LINK and PDFREPORT.

Yeah, blame Bill Gates who provided one third of the money.

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