Posts Tagged Swaziland HIV

Swaziland – Forced to Eat Cow Shit

The following quotes are from this article:

“Some HIV-positive patients in Swaziland are so poor they have resorted to eating cow dung before taking anti-retroviral drugs, Aids activists say.
The drugs do not work on an empty stomach, so patients have to use the dung – mixed with water – instead of food, the activists say.

The shortage of money forced King Mswati, who is sub-Saharan Africa’s last absolute monarch, to cancel his silver jubilee celebrations this year.
He has an estimated personal wealth of $200m (£122m) and each of his 13 wives has a palace paid for by the state, correspondents say.”

What a fuckup.

On the one hand, you’ve got people so poor they have to eat cow shit; on the other, you’ve got King Mswati III.

He has to give up one of his many, many luxuries — canceling his silver jubilee celebrations, which celebrates how he’s now ruled for 25 years, paid for by the people of Swaziland (as are his birthday celebrations) — but he still has his $200 million and his 13 palaces paid for by the state, a possible $10 billion in trust (from his father, the now-dead King Sobhuza II), and who-knows-what else. He is so wealthy and yet he is the one that the state provides for? That’s where the state puts massive amounts of money towards in a place where people are so poor they have to eat cow shit so that they have some type of substance for their HIV drugs to work?

“The king has also been criticised for requesting public money to pay for new palaces, a personal jet and luxury cars. Street protests led him to abandon the aircraft purchase.”[*]

So, now that the “royalty” is having to cut back a bit, what’s being done?

“It has asked neighbouring South Africa for a bailout.”[*]

A news article from 21 July 2011 said that South Africa has agreed to granting $202 million to Swaziland. (Note the figure — quite close to King Mswati’s “estimated personal wealth”.)

So, are bailouts actually all about the people who live in extreme luxury wanting to continue living that lifestyle no matter the consequence? It’s not about the people forced to live in extreme poverty; it’s about the super-rich — because this current system works for THEM. Was there such strong efforts to get more money before the super-rich started having to subtly cut back their luxurious lifestyles? The small percentage of the very wealthy reap all the benefits while the majority of this world live a very, very different life, basically bearing all the nasty consequences.

Swazis have a life expectancy of around 48 years old.[*] (However, I’ve seen other sources place that figure in the 30s.)

At 39%, Swaziland has the highest HIV-prevalence in adult population in the entire world.[*] This looks like it will even get worse — and their lack of access to sufficient food is pushing some of the already-infected to consider stopping their HIV meds since it’s required to take with something in the stomach (which has had to be cow shit for some, as mentioned previously).

There is a 43% unemployment rate — and the 2009/2010 Swaziland Household Income and Expenditure Survey says 63% of Swaziland live in poverty, and 30% live in extreme poverty. (The people of Swaziland additionally pay for the royal family’s “upkeep,” which is an outrageous sum, when the majority struggle to survive.)

The solution: The Equal Money System — a system that takes all equally into consideration. That means the end to a world where the super-rich continue to live in excessive luxury while the majority suffer and struggle to survive. No-one will be forced to eat cow dung; all will have access to sufficient food. It would mark the immediate end of poverty.

No bailouts required in an Equal Money System. The term “economic crisis” could cease to exist; we’d never have to use it.

No Kings, monarchs, family dynasties / ruling families, “royalty”. No more corrupt governments. Instead, equality and real leadership. In a Best-For-All world system, Life would be absolutely honored and the planet would thrive in a way that we’ve never gotten to see.

We’d have a high life-expectancy worldwide. All would have equal access to food, clean water, quality education, quality medical care — to all that is required. Real prevention would be a priority — an end to the half-assed efforts to prevent the various problems in this world.

A world of haves, as it should be.

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