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Global Healthbeat: Doctor s Without Borders Top Ten Underreported Humanitarian Crises 2007 - Zimbabwe


Zimbabwe, a landlocked country in southern Africa of 12 million people, once had the one of the best health systems in Africa. Today - due to political turmoil, 80 % unemployment, food shortages and general chaos - the health system is collapsing. Inflation is 15,000%. 3 million people have fled the country and close to 2 million people have HIV/AIDS. These unhappy statistics have given Zimbabwe's health crisis the distinction of being among Doctors without Borders (MSF) Top Ten Underreported Humanitarian Crises of 2007. BBC News and CNN have been banned from reporting and filming in Zimbabwe.

Three thousand people die every day due to AIDS in Zimbabwe, and chances of a coordinated response to the crisis are slim. In 1990, life expectancy for males born in Zimbabwe was 60 years, today it is 37 years and for females, it is 34 years. The UN has been calling for an end to human rights violations in that country since 2005. 500,000 people are reported to be internally displaced due to the razing of slums and seizures of land and property.

With refugees fleeing the country - taking with them HIV, tuberculosis and malaria - this is everyone's problem. MSF and the UN are trying to respond, but for Zimbabwe, it is just not enough.


Thank you Sokwanele-Zimbabwe for use of photo of HIV + Grace, found in a ditch, covered with banana leaves...
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