13 June, 2009

Still free of Swine Flu

The Ministry of Public Health and Population, has just announced that Yemen is still free of the H1N1 virus. Declared a pandemic by WHO, the H1N1 virus has spread rapidly, far and wide, with more than 70 countries so far reporting on cases of human infection with the virus, and as cases of the flu rise in the Middle East - so far, Yemen has been spared.

Swine flu is a threat, but there are more dangerous and much more deadlier threats lurking around: malaria is much more dangerous here and in many parts of the world than the flu; and so is HIV/Aids. In Africa and in many other parts of the world, malaria has been spreading rapidly and is the number one killer - the WHO reports that about 3,000 children, die a day, in Africa and says that an estimated 20 per cent of the world's population — mostly those living in the world's poorest countries — is at risk of contracting malaria. As for HIV/Aids - it has so far killed about 2 million people worldwide and an estimated 33 million people worldwide are now living with it.

Influenza has a vaccine; but both malaria and HIV/Aids don't have any, and I believe the two are much more dangerous than swine flu. The flu, because of the way it can easily spread, could turn out to be more dangerous; but, at the moment, that's not the case. And looking at the facts and figures, malaria and HIV/Aids, especially in Africa - which Yemen is close to - are much more dangerous and deadlier, and the real pandemics. And not swine flu.

Postscript - June the 17th: unfortunately, now, Yemen has the flu: Yemen confirmed a total of five swine flu cases in the country Wednesday and declared a state of emergency, less than a week after the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the first pandemic in 40 years.