One Womans Odyssey to Rescue Africa's Children by Melissa Fay Greene
Ok so this book kinda changed my life..ok well, the inside of me, like my mind...maybe not outwardly yet.
Anyways I think is should be required reading. Orginally I read it because I heard everyone adopting from Ethiopia 'has' to read it because of the huge history it gives about the country. This book rocked me- I finished it a few weeks ago and I still cry...yes a little peice of my heart is there but I think it should affect everyone. Here's some blurbs that you can ponder on...
(these are various quotes taken from the book)
Dr. Mark Rosenberg
"My colleagues compare AIDS in Africa to the Holocaust. They imagine we will be asked by future generations, 'What did you do to help?'
AIDS- killed more than 21 million people including 4 million children
13 million children orphaned from it..12 million is from sub Saharan Africa. Ethiopia was #2 country hit
25-50 million orphans in Africa alone
The numbers are completely ridiculous- human beings are not wired to absorb 12 million or 25 million bits of information- the ridiculous numbers wash over most of us.
We who have read the histories of the Armenian genocide, and of the holocaust, stalins Gulag, the epic killings in Cambodia, Bosnia, and Rwanda, find our selves once again safely tucked away.
We're not getting it- we'll have a cumulative total of 100 million deaths and infections by the end of the year 2012 and we call ourselves an advanced civilization.
Ethiopia- out of poverty, drought, famine, TB, malaria, HIV/AIDS, autocracy, skirmishes and war...is running low on adults.
ethiopian doctor patient ratio- worst in world...1 to 34,000 people (US is 1 to 142)
Who is going to raise 12 million children?
adoption is not the answer to HIV and aids in Africa...for every orphan turning up in a northern hemisphere learning to rollerblade- 10 thousand African children remain behind.
(Halefom -head of ethiopian childrens commission)
"Adoption is a last resort, historically our country had very few orpahns because orpahned children were raised by their extened families. THe HIV/AIDS pandemic has destroyed so many of our families that the possibility no longer exits to absorb all of our ethiopian orpahns.
I am deeply respectful of the families who care for our children, but I am also very interested in any help that can be given to us to keep the childrens parents alive. Adoption is good, but children, naturally would prefer not to see their parents die."
3/4 of children born to HIV mothers- do not carry the virus (hence the orphan crisis)
(In the US- people are rarely dieing of AIDS now...we have the wonder drugs and people w/ HIV can live long healthy lives- getting married...having children. HIV is no longer a death sentence but a condition you learn how to live with.)
The meds have a 'lazurs effect'- a person can be on the brink of death and within days be practically back to 'normal.'
Patents: (the word now causes my blood to boil) the pattented drugs cost $15,000 per patient per year- although production costs are closer to $200. universl treatment would not be an option for africans.
in fact our govt worked hard to keep prices up by limiting exports to third world countires and vigorousley enforcing patents...their argurment- 'drug firms need the profits to finance the research on new wonder drugs.'
But at what point does the human benefit to desperate, destitute countries outweigh strict adherence to patents and profits?
They blame hurdels of- 'lack of sophistication to manage complex meds.' (sickening)
Our stragedy emphesizes prevention to the exclusion of treatment...ofers no hope to tens of millions of human beings. In fact, it passes a death sentence on them. WE may have to sit by and just see these millions of people die.
both the Brazilian and Indian generic companies signal their willingness to export low cost generic versions of the drugs to poor countries
2006- $275 billion spent on war in Iraq...worldwide aids programs could have been completely funded for 27 years with that amount of funding
Some activists long to see drug industry executives and political leaders-tried for crimes against humanity."
OK- I know this was long...if you read this all...Thanks..I hope your eyes have been opened like mine were...