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In a Poor Kenyan Community, Cheap Antibiotics Fuel Deadly Drug-Resistant Infections

Overuse of the medicines is not just a problem in rich countries. Throughout the developing world antibiotics are dispensed with no prescription required.

Try your luck at writing a caption for this photograph. Better yet, try an analysis of it.

The story headline is bad. The story is bad. On a smaller scale though, I am struck by the photograph of the man on the cell phone. He’s smiling as we walks across mountains of garbage where (he, and his?) people live, raise children, and go about daily living.

In this staggering story, Kenya is referred to as an emerg-ing economy. A develop-ing country. I’ve added the hyphens because in my eyes, as I have read and witnessed this story play out for decades, it is my conclusion, that too many countries in Africa have not emerged from anything. Media and scholars try to be polite and avoid confrontation by using the “ing” after the country’s name’s, because to label them as un-developed, is a smear. But, I don’t see any other way to put it. It is a smear. It is worse. It is atrocious to witness these realities in the modern age of developed economies all around the planet. Its not just Africa. Its in Asia, South America, and to a lesser extent, small pockets in our own country. But nothing compares with this. What goes on here is astounding, and its been going on as long as I have been alive. There’s no emerging. There’s no developing. Any development or emerging that’s going on is on such a small incremental basis, that its no match to the magnitude of the scourge.

Africa is a complex quagmire of dueling, feuding, conflicted, often rudderless countries, who move in and out of exploitative control of its peoples from one masquerading despot to another. I am not worthy to shine a true scholar’s shoes on this subject, but I do know what I see, or don’t see. I do see serious health consequences bordering on the continent of  a nationwide crisis. I don’t see sustained action of several African countries united to work together. Globally, its the same story. Since decolonization, Africa has not been able to rise out of its troubled history of slavery and European exploitation. Yet, they affect us when we stop and take notice when an article like this one lands in front of our eyes. >MB

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In a Poor Kenyan Community, Cheap Antibiotics Fuel Deadly Drug-Resistant Infections