Afrikas versteckter Hunger

DAR ES SALAAM – Vor etwas mehr als zwanzig Jahren schockierte der südafrikanische Fotograf Kevin Carter die Welt mit einem umstrittenen Foto eines hungernden sudanesischen Kindes, das während einer Hungersnot von einem Geier beobachtet wird. Kritiker verurteilten den Schnappschuss als „Katastrophenporno“ und nannten ihn ein weiteres Beispiel dafür, wie die afrikanischen Probleme durch die internationalen Medien sensationalisiert würden.

Aber was mich verstört, ist nicht das Foto, sondern, dass die darauf gezeigten Bedingungen zwei Jahrzehnte später immer noch weitgehend dieselben sind. Jedes Jahr sterben immer noch 3,1 Millionen Kinder weltweit an Hunger.

Als afrikanischer Arzt weiß ich, dass die Zerstörungen durch schwere Mangelernährung und Hunger nicht immer sichtbar sind. Oft treten sie nicht so deutlich zutage wie in den vorstehenden Rippen geisterhafter Kinder an Infusionsschläuchen, wie ich sie in Tansania in Krankenhäusern gesehen habe. Chronische Mangelernährung oder „versteckter Hunger“ zeigt sich auf andere Weise, kann aber genauso zerstörerisch und tödlich sein. Und während die Todesfälle durch andere Krankheiten und auch akute Unterernährung zurückgegangen sind, bleibt der versteckte Hunger allgegenwärtig.

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