Photo credit, NYTimes
Earlier this year, when news that a new strain of the flu – H1N1 – was circulating and that the virus might be of Swine origin, the Government of Egypt announced a cull of all pigs in Egypt to protect against the spread of the disease. Although almost every public health official warned against the plan – arguing that it would do nothing to prevent the spread of the disease – the government moved forward anyway – entirely for political reasons.
Well it turns out there is one more reason why this plan was a horrible idea all along: the said pigs were excellent consumers of organic waste and their absence has created a new public health problem – piles of garbage throughout Cairo.
Drastic measures like these, especially when they are not supported by any public health evidence, are rarely good ideas. This is one more example of how bad politics can lead to bad public health outcomes.Share on Facebook