Jak potlačit konzo

EAST LANSING, MICHIGAN – Subsaharskou Afriku už dlouho sužují nemoci, jimž lze předcházet, od AIDS po žlutou zimnici. K jejich vymýcení jsou však zapotřebí poznatky o dané nemoci, peníze, osvěta, vládní podpora, plánování a v neposlední řadě zájem dotčené komunity a širšího světa na řešení problému.

Vezměme si preventabilní onemocnění, o němž většina lidí nikdy neslyšela: konzo, nazývané též kasavismus, nevratné poškození centrálního motorického nervu, běžné ve venkovských oblastech subsaharské Afriky, závislých na hořkých odrůdách kasavy čili manioku jako základní plodině. Konzo vzniká, když hlízy manioku před konzumací neprojdou dostatečnou úpravou, která obvykle vyžaduje máčení, dokud nezkvasí, a následné sušení na slunci, aby došlo k rozkladu kyanogenních látek. Při každém vzplanutí mohou být v dané venkovské oblasti postiženy stovky až tisíce lidí.

Obzvlášť běžné je konzo v Demokratické republice Kongo, Středoafrické republice, Mosambiku a Tanzanii a často propuká po obdobích sucha či střetů, kdy je nedostatek potravy. Nejhůř postiženy jsou ženy a děti, zejména v dobách hospodářských útrap, kdy se nejméně dostanou k masu, fazolím a dalším zdrojům aminokyselin se sírou v řetězci, nezbytným pro schopnost jater detoxifikovat v těle kyanid.

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