A Fome Encoberta de África

DAR-ES-SALAAM – Há pouco mais de 20 anos, o fotógrafo Sul-Africano Kevin Carter chocou o mundo com uma controversa fotografia de uma criança Sudanesa faminta a ser observada por um abutre, durante um período de fome. Os críticos atacaram a foto como sendo “pornografia de catástrofe”, dizendo que não passava de mais um exemplo em como os media internacionais tratam os problemas Africanos com sensacionalismo.

Mas o que me perturba não é a fotografia. Em vez disso, é o facto de que, duas décadas mais tarde, as condições representadas na fotografia tenham permanecido basicamente as mesmas. Todos os anos, 3,1 milhões de crianças em todo o mundo ainda morrem de fome.

Como médico Africano, sei que os danos provocados pela subnutrição séria e pela fome provocam não são sempre visíveis. Não são sempre tão evidentes como nas costelas protuberantes de crianças fantasmagóricas ligadas a sondas para alimentação, que eu costumava ver nas enfermarias da Tanzânia. A subnutrição crónica, ou “fome encoberta”, manifesta-se de outros modos – mas pode ser igualmente devastadora e mortífera. E embora as mortes devidas a outras doenças, incluindo a subnutrição aguda, tenham decrescido, a fome encoberta permanece generalizada.

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