International Community Should Demand Zimbabwe Improve Health, Economic Structures, Opinion Piece Says
Although Zimbabwe's HIV/AIDS epidemic is not the "fault" of President Robert Mugabe, the "human consequences" of the "collapse" of the health system and economy under his leadership are "heartbreaking," New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof writes in a Times opinion piece. Hospitals and health clinics in the country lack medicines and doctors, as many as 33% of working-age Zimbabweans are HIV-positive and children in the country die "routinely for want of malaria medication that costs just a few dollars," Kristof says. Although Western nations often have "focused [their] outrage" at Mugabe's seizure of farms from white landowners, the "greatest suffering by far is among black Zimbabweans," Kristof writes. "When a white racist government was oppressing Zimbabwe" in the 1970s, "the international community united to demand change," Kristof says, concluding, "These days, a black racist government is harming the people of Zimbabwe more than ever, and the international community is letting Mr. Mugabe get away with it. Our hypocrisy is costing hundreds of Zimbabwean lives every day" (Kristof, New York Times, 3/23).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.