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587 out of every 1000 babies in Swaziland die

Baby Moses d0a451e1
This isn’t a blog so much as it is me registering shock. As humans, we must sit up and take notice when large numbers of other human beings are dying. We did it with Cambodia, Rwanda, and Sudan. Now it’s Swaziland’s turn. 58.7% of babies in Swaziland are dying.   According to yesterday’…
By Seth Barnes
Baby MosesThis isn’t a blog so much as it is me registering shock. As humans, we must sit up and take notice when large numbers of other human beings are dying. We did it with Cambodia, Rwanda, and Sudan. Now it’s Swaziland’s turn. 58.7% of babies in Swaziland are dying.
 
According to yesterday’s Swazi Observer: “Out of every 1,000 children born at the country’s hospitals, 587 of them
die. Chief Nursing Officer, Thembisile Khumalo disclosed the figures
yesterday, noting that the number of babies dying at birth was
worrying.”
 
Worrying? What kind of absurd understatement is that? Over half the nation’s babies are dying and you’re worried? How about outraged, or livid, or inconsolable?! Many of us are incredulous – the number must be wrong. The CIA factbook says that just two years ago the infant mortality rate was just 7%, still a shocking number, but nowhere near 58.7%.
 
What do we as human beings do when we hear news of such tragedy? In 1980 when I heard about what Pol Pot was doing to his country, I dropped everything, got on a plane to Thailand, and began helping the more than a million refugees on its border. I didn’t feel noble, I just felt impelled to do something.
 
Here’s how the government of Swaziland responded to the shocking news in the press:  “We do hope that with the introduction of the health
awards, health facilities in the country will fight to improve the
situation.” 
 
That’s a government. That’s how institutions respond to holocausts, with numb banalities. What makes us different as sentient human beings is that we can do something. As Willie Loman’s wife said when he died, “Attention must be paid!
 
If you’ll get in touch with me, I’ll give you some options. Switching the channel is not one of them. We can begin by verifying and reporting the reality through our own independent research for starters. And after that, some of us need may need to get on airplanes.

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