Gli aiuti funzionano

NEW YORK – Le critiche mosse nei confronti degli aiuti internazionali sono sbagliate. Una crescente ondata di dati dimostra che i tassi di mortalità in numerosi Paesi poveri stanno registrando un netto calo, e che i programmi finanziati dagli aiuti per la fornitura di assistenza sanitaria hanno rivestito un ruolo chiave. Gli aiuti funzionano. Salvano vite umane.

Uno degli studi più recenti, condotto da Gabriel Demombynes e Sofia Trommlerova, dimostra che la mortalità infantile in Kenya (bambini al di sotto di un anno di età) è precipitata negli ultimi anni e attribuisce una parte significativa del miglioramento al massiccio uso di zanzariere da letto anti-malaria. Questi risultati coincidono con quelli di altro importante studio sui tassi di mortalità per malaria condotto da Chris Murray e altri, che in modo simile ha riscontrato un notevole e rapido calo delle morti causate dalla malaria dopo il 2004 nell’Africa subsahariana grazie alle misure messe in atto per controllare la malaria e finanziate dagli aiuti.

Spostiamo le lancette dell’orologio indietro di dodici anni. Nel 2000 l’Africa era strangolata da tre grandi epidemie. L’Aids uccideva oltre due milioni di persone ogni anno e si diffondeva rapidamente. La malaria mieteva sempre più vittime, a causa della crescente resistenza del parassita al farmaco standard utilizzato all’epoca. Anche la tubercolosi colpiva duramente la popolazione, in parte a seguito dell’epidemia dell’Aids e in parte per l’insorgenza di un ceppo di tbc resistente agli antibiotici. Per di più, centinaia di migliaia di donne morivano ogni anno durante il parto, perché non avevano accesso a degenze sicure in una clinica o in un ospedale o all’assistenza di emergenza quando necessaria.

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