Untruths are Unhealthy

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A fellow by the name of Roger Friedman recently wrote a nauseating article about the general state of health in Namibia, suggesting that the daughter of the Hollywood couple, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie was lucky to be alive after being born in Namibia on May 27. Friedman, an American, reportedly writes for Fox News in the United States. He did not spare our country insult and ridicule. Friedman relied on data from the infamous Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) whose notoriety for concoctions, lies and cheap tricks are a matter of record. The theme of the article penned with CIA poison is that the infant mortality rate in Namibia, according to the CIA website, is 48,1 deaths per 1000 live births. In 2003, said Friedman, 21 percent of Namibians died of aids. Women are only expected to live to their 44th birthday according to Friedman. “… Lets not make a mistake here, any pregnant women in Namibia would trade just about anything to have her baby in the United States”, Friedman claimed without substantiating and corroborating his horrendous lie with facts. For instance, Friedman should have produced evidence based on applications by Namibians who want to become US citizens or requested to have their babies born in the United States. He failed dismally to provide the basis for his assumption and that of his mentors in the CIA. The article is so damaging to the good name of our country that it could prejudice our investment efforts and tourism. Friedman’s article has the effect of being swallowed hook, line and sinker by the uninformed and to thereby scare the hell out of those who might want to visit our country. And that is why we feel we must add our voice to the chorus of many Namibians and other people of goodwill who have come out in defence of the truth. We are not really appalled and bewildered by this man’s naivety and complete ignorance of the world and Namibia. Generally, many Americans are. They think America is the world, that all else is jungle where there is no life and nothing worth living for. The stupidity of this article lies in the assumption that baby Shiloh Nouvel was lucky to be alive after being born in a Namibian hospital. The article does not explain why so many children born of foreign or Namibian parentage continue to lead normal lives in a country whose medical standards he characterises as sub-standard if not dangerous. By implication, it is only safe for mothers to give birth in the Unites States and not a little known African country like Namibia. Would Friedman say the same about African American, Hispanic and Native Indian mothers who give births in hospitals in the United States? Do they get the same high standards of medical health care like yourself? What about infant mortality rates in these communities? Friedman should use the CIA website to tell the world about the state of health in these communities instead of worrying about a far-away land that he knows nothing about. After all, charity begins at home Mr Friedman. Contrary to Friedman’s intrigues and machinations, at least 90 percent of Namibia’s population of 1.8 million people have access to quality health care. The health system in the country has improved tremendously over the past 16 years and no amount of fabrications by people like Friedman can reverse the gains we have made in this sector. Shiloh Nouvel, Mr Friedman, is alive and well. She was born in Namibia in a perfectly conducive medical environment and care by exceptionally competent local medical personnel. She is on her way to the US, and, once there, should teach Friedman and fellow Americans like him that ignorance about the world is not only a danger to yourself but also to others. Indeed, Mr Friedman, you are a danger to humankind.