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THE WORLD’S BIGGEST INFECTIOUS KILLER
Writing in 1901, William Osler, one of the founders of modern medicine, described pneumonia as “the captain of the men of death”. He was writing about the USA, where the disease was a major killer of children – and a source of fear for their parents. Pneumonia remains a “captain of the men of death”. No infectious disease claims the lives of more children. Today, almost all of the victims are in low- and middle-income countries. The vast majority are poor.
Tuesday 26 July 2016
Save the Children calls for critical support for the South African Development Community regional humanitarian appeal
As a result of one the strongest and most destructive El Niño phenomena ever recorded, the lives of 26.5 million children are now at risk of high levels of malnutrition, water shortages, and disease across 10 countries in eastern and southern Africa.
Donors and Southern African governments must act swiftly, collaboratively, and generously in responding to the South African Development Community’s (SADC) announcement of a regional drought emergency triggered by El Nino, warn Oxfam, Save the Children and CARE.
In a statement this week, SADC Council has approved a ‘Declaration of the Regional Drought Disaster’. Approximately 28-30 million people in Southern Africa now face severe levels of hunger and food insecurity. If no action is taken, that number could rise quickly to 49 million.
Key issues affecting children
- Food insecurity is threatening the well
being and lives of children across the region
- Children are at risk of being removed
from school to work and help their families find or pay for food
- Children are vulnerable to exploitation
such as prostitution in the current climate
Southern Africa is in the throes of an acute humanitarian crisis that is having countrywide impacts in Angola, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as affecting significant populations in Lesotho, Mozambique and Swaziland. It is estimated that, across the entire region, 7.5 million (plus a further 1.9 million in Angola) people already require immediate food assistance; a figure that will rise to 16.3 million over the January -March 2003 period. Of those in need, at least 60% are under the age of 18 years.
At a glance
Almost 14.5 million people have been identified as being in need of food aid in the Southern Africa region. The crisis is affecting several countries including Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and Angola. The United Nations estimates that in order to meet the minimum food needs of the region's population, 3.2 million tonnes of food will need to be imported between now and April 2003.
Save the Children UK (SCUK) is calling on delegates at this week's meeting convened by the UN on the Southern Africa food crisis to come up with a clear and realistic plan on how to prevent a tragedy on a massive scale.