战胜Konzo

东兰辛,密歇根—从艾滋病到黄热病,太多可预防的疾病长期以来一直困扰着撒哈拉以南非洲。但根除这些疾病需要理解这些疾病,需要资金、教育、政府支持、计划,以及社区乃至全世界对解决问题的兴趣。

以一种大部分人从未听说过的可预防疾病为例。这种疾病叫做konzo,一种永久性、不可逆的上层运动神经元失调病,这种病在撒哈拉以南非洲农村很常见,该地区以一种较苦的木薯类植物为主食。如果食用了处理不当的木薯块茎,就会得这种病。通常,处理木薯需要把它们浸在水中直到发酵,然后在太阳底下晒干,从而让其中的生氰物质分解。Konzo病每一次发作,都会导致数十万农村地区的人受到影响。

Konzo病在民主刚果、中非共和国、莫桑比克和坦桑尼亚尤其普遍,并且通常在经历了旱灾和冲突、粮食比较匮乏时爆发。女性和儿童受影响最为严重,特别是在经济困难期他们最难获得肉类、豆类和其他含硫氨基酸来源的时候。含硫氨基酸可以帮助肝脏分解体内的氰化物。

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