Saturday soapbox

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

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Happy St Andrew’s Day

One Response to Saturday soapbox

  1. Andrei says:

    Your post about “preventable deaths” in Samoa got me thinking shall we say

    Here is what Samoa spent on health care per capita in US dollars in 2016 – $227.22

    Here is what New Zealand spent per capita in the same year – $3745.22

    So, no surprises here, Samoa has less available for health care spending than NZ and perhaps given the limited resources mass vaccination with the MMR vaccine has not been a priority for the Samoan Authorities untill now.

    And my guess is the New Zealand taxpayer is picking up the tab for the program now underway there. Not that I resent that, its fair enough and a good use of limited resources in the circumstances.

    I remember a controversy from the early 2000s when the USA in its benevolence set aside $150,000 million for the treatment of AIDS in Africa – AIDS being at that time a disease of great interest to the Hollywood gliterati and the New York philanthropic sets.

    Of course as we cynics fully realise most of that $150,000 million was supposed to be spent in the USA buying American pharmaceuticals who would be the biggest beneficiaries of this largesse rather than poor Africans

    But the minister of health for South Africa, Manto Tshabalala-Msimang told the truth as she saw it – they didn’t need expensive AIDS drugs in the townships, they needed medicine to treat Tuberculosis and Malaria which were the real problems among a plethora of others facing the residents

    And didn’t she and President Thabo Mbeki get slammed in the Western media for this. It didn’t help that Manto Tshabalala-Msimang was trained as a physcian in the Soviet Union I suppose, but did all those Western Journalists from CNN and the BBC really have a better handle on the Health care needs in the South African Townships than a local doctor?


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