Breaking News
English service
The Plight of Zimbabwe
2017-07-04 21:39:41
Oliver Smith

Zimbabwe has been afflicted with various inequities that speak to the nature of Zimbabwe in the lengthy aftermath of Independence.

Since 1980 when Zimbabwe secured full independence from Britain with Zanu PF winning a majority in the elections, Zimbabwe held Africa’s second highest income per capita; however, the inequities among the country’s populace were increasingly stark.Today, reports confirm that Zimbabwe is the absolute the bottom of the totem pole, and the people of Zimbabwe are, in large numbers, among the poorest in the world.

 U.N.agencies that work in Zimbabwe rated the country last week on the basis of several areas wherein there are either health crises or economic crises of some kind.They noted 30 negative so-called indices and nine positive.The negatives included child mortality, undernourishment, maternal mortality, subjective wellbeing, homicides, tuberculosis, life expectancy, corruption, property rights, infant mortality rate (IMR) and government efficiency.

 The positives included tax revenue as a percentage of GDP, CO2 emissions and Municipal waste management.In large part, experts are surprised that waste management proved efficient according to participating agencies.The population itself, though, served as physical evidence to some extent in light of 1980 showing an estimated 12 million with a growth rate under four percent per annum.Now 37 years afterward, experts say the population was supposed to have doubled repeatedly; forecasts predicted it would double every 20 years in fact.It was expected that the figure would reach 22 million; instead, the figure is approximately 14 million.

This essentially means from a mathematical perspective that eight million citizens are “missing,” so to speak.Live birth numbers haven’t decelerated over this time, and there remain more than 400, 000 live births per annum; however, the rate of infant mortality has skyrocketed at a time that coincides with life expectancy dropping.More to the point, death rates in Zimbabwe were about 100,000 per annum in 1980, yet contemporary figures are three times as high with practically a population of the same size.

 Recent weeks have seen incessant TV and radio coverage of terrorist incidents in Europe.Nobody saw the deaths and related suffering that a quite simply inept government yielded with inert policy.Under the assumption of 200,000 people dying each year for 37 years due to poverty and preventable diseases, the death toll goes beyond genocidal levels toward 7.4 million.The mortality rates were never comparable to this in the early years, which is its own explanation for the “missing” millions, though some others are likely unaccounted for due to other factors entirely.

 After Zimbabwe gained independence, many white Zimbabweans left for other countries.There were initially close to 280,000 whites in Zimbabwe prior to gaining independence, yet the modern figure is much more like 50,000.

 Infant mortality is universally defined as the death of a child less than a year old, and the term, infant mortality rate, is often used to refer to the pandemic phenomenon of children all over the world dying at these young ages for any of a myriad of reasons.The World Socialist Web Site writes that progress has been made in the global fight against infant mortality and child mortality but that progress is negligible at best in certain regions of the world.Ultimately, these regions are all on the African continent.He cites a UNICEF report to describe progress in sub-Saharan Africa as insufficient while stating that progress in all other African regions (i.e.North Africa, East Africa, and West Africa) has been practically nonexistent.

Photo source: Rcragun via Wikimedia Commons

The sub-Sahara is easily the largest region of the African continent, consisting of the majority of its nations and even overlapping with East and West Africa according to certain indexes published by the United Nations.West Africa, though, one of the regions for which no progress has been made in attenuating the infant mortality rate, consists of eighteen countries.UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, defines “infant mortality rate” (IMR) as “the probability (expressed as a rate per 1,000 live births) of a child born in a specified year dying before reaching the age of one if subject to current age-specific mortality rates.” In correlation with this standing definition, UNICEF maps the varying infant mortality rates of all West African countries.

Correlations have been drawn between urbanity and infant mortality, and these correlations apply not only to West Africa but several other regions as well.Last year, the World Health Organization (2016) assesses the situation in “developing countries” and reports that the IMR is still uniquely high on the African continent.Specifically, the organization counts 61 deaths per 1,000 live births across 31 African countries.They examine several nations and compartmentalize the continent by region as they process their latest data.In so doing, they conclude that children born to families or caretakers in the poorest 20% of specifically urban households are 1.7 to 2.2 times more likely to die before reaching age one than those born to the richest 20% of urban households.This links not only urbanity to infant mortality but also poverty.


오늘의 베스트 5