His general theme is that it may be better to let Africans sort out the problems and for the West to intervene afterwards. In most complex emergencies, he is correct in saying that medical intervention is initiated after the combatants have left the field. However in the same way that political prevention of a crisis is a viable option, so is preventative public health. It is difficult for the medical profession to accept the idea that nothing can or should be done. It is a denial of basic humanitarian instincts. Problems are undoubtedly caused by inappropriate action but inaction is not the solution.
After the extermination of the Jews prominent Nazis were tried at Nuremberg. In Rwanda the UN tribunal still faces delays. Western aid helped to rebuild Germany. Few would have seen interring Nazis in their own concentration camps as a moral solution to the problem.
Dr Charles Easmon
London SW11Reuse content