Friday, May 1, 2009

BAD MEMORIES: Swine Flu & Haiti

With all this talk of swine flu, many who are close to Haiti are remembering a similar "epidemic" and the catastrophic price that Haitians had to pay in the 1980s.

According to the Lambi Fund of Haiti:

"In the 1980's the USA demanded that Haiti destroy all its pigs in a misguided effort to control swine flu. Unfortunately, this mandate destroyed the savings for many Haitian peasants. In Haiti a pig is like a savings bank. A family buys a piglet, raises it for a couple of years and then when they need extra money for tuition for their children or a medical emergency, they sell the fattened pig at market for a handy profit. When all the pigs were destroyed, many families lost their savings and have had difficulty recovering economically ever since."

In hindsight, scores of Haitian swine were destroyed and replaced with pigs that had not been raised in the harsh conditions of Haiti. The resulting "replacements" were simply unable to survive the same conditions that Haiti's pigs had evolved to handle. Much has been written on this failed attempt to "help" the Haitian people. Click here for some more information about this matter.

No comments: