It has been a tough week. Both my little guys have been ill, Eldest with an ear infection and Wee One with an ‘Acute Respiratory Tract Infection’. My kitchen counters are scattered with little bottles of homeopathic remedies, spoons and sprays. My ironing pile has once again reached Mount Vesuvius proportions and the dust bunnies are taking over.
Exhausted, I collapsed on the couch, bemoaning my week of sleep deprivation to Hubby while he flicked through the channels on TV.
It was seeing pictures on Sky News like these that I found humbling. My children have access to medical help, food and clean water. I, as their mother, although I feel helpless at times know that I am able to provide the best care I can for them. Imagine being a mother in Zimbabwe?
The Red Cross states that Cholera is easily treatable by ensuring it is caught in time and by rehydration. A simple glucose solution is what is needed but in Zimbabwe there is no clean water and to be able to access or even afford sugar and salt is near impossible for many.
South Africa borders Zimbabwe and it is reported that in the town of Musina more than 664 cases of Cholera are being treated. The UN has reported that there are approximately 16 000 cases of Cholera and deaths in the region of 783 in Zimbabwe.
On the 11th of December, 2008, the international community were astounded to hear Zimbabwe’s President, Robert Mugabe, state that Cholera no longer existed in his country! He went on to slam international leaders like Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom and George W. Bush of the United States of America as they called for him to step down as President, indicating that they were using cholera as a basis for their claims. Once again, Robert Mugabe, has found a new scapegoat for his governments inability to manage their country. Pity the man can’t look in a mirror and point at himself. Cholera would not be at its high levels in Zimbabwe if the people were given access to clean running water but that is one of the rights the Zimbabwean people have been denied, including medical care, due to the collapse of its infrastructure.
I am still trying to understand why my own government has not taken a stronger stand on the Zimbabwe crisis, especially now that there is a chance that Cholera can pass into our country across the border and put further strain on our already stretched medical resources. Gwede Mantashe has probably given the most plausible explanation, that Robert Mugabe is scared. Surely a man must face his demons, especially if he has danced with the devil? At what point is South Africa finally going to wash their hands of their old ally and realise that he has become similar to the monster that they fought so hard against in the apartheid years?
Wee One woke again in the middle of the night, his temperature had spiked again, but as I held him and gave him something to keep his fever under control to make him comfortable, I was no longer bemoaning my fate….. I was thankful.