Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Africa needs food and medical supplies not condoms

I was quite appauled when I saw this article in my inbox. I understand that condoms can reduce the amount of pregnancies but c'mon Planned Parenthood, why don't you just give them free abortions while you are at it too??

"Please, when you go back to America, tell your country we need band-aids, no more condoms"
A friend of a friend recently got back from a trip in Africa and she had this story to tell.

While she was there, she went to visit a local health clinic. She was taken on a tour of the facilities by a member of the staff, and was brought back into the supply room. There her guide showed her the supplies that this small village had to work with. She opened one cabinet marked first aid and found a few small boxes of bandaids, and a few other gauze stripes, but a basically bare cubbord.

She then opened the medical refridgerator, used to keep antibiotics and other medicine at the proper temperature, and found no supplies whatsoever.

However, that was just 2 doors, there were still several more to go. She opened the last three with the guide and was stunned.

All three cabinets were completely FILLED with American condoms.

Her guide looked at her and said

"Please, when you get back to America, tell your country we need band aids, no more condoms!"

I knew that the African people were being shipped boat loads of condoms but I had absolutely no idea the insanity! So i decided to do a little break down of funds.

I tried to do research to find out exactly how many condoms were sent to Africa each year. Unfortunately, there is absolutely NO way to figure this out. Nobody knows, not even the US government. There are just that many.

So I went to International Planned Parenthood Federation, and this is what I learned.

In 2005 alone, IPPF sent some 103.4 million condoms to Africa. At 50 cents a condom (on the American market), that is approximately $51.7 million spent on condoms to Africa.

Seeing as the more prevalent problem in Africa seems to be lack of food, not lack of condoms, (according to my friend of a friend) I decided to figure out just how much food those 103.4 million condoms COULD have bought.

(I figured my prices based on the American market, again a conservative estimate since food prices are MUCH lower in developing countries.)

An average meal (1/4 cup beans, 1/4 cup rice and 1 piece of flat bread) would cost only 25 cents to prepare.

Since my estimate for condoms is about 50 cents each, that means each condom sent could have provided 2 meals for starving people.

With IPPF's funds alone, that's 206.8 MILLION meals that could have been purchased in just 1 year for the price of those condom.

And then comes the matter of the homefront. Certainly, this is a great case for not sending condoms to starving people- but what about here.

Well, the same rule applies. For every dollar (about how much a condom retails for in the States) spent on a condom here, you could feed 4 starving people.

Basically, if you didn't have sex that one time, 4 people could have had dinner.

If that doesn't make the decision to have sex a little more difficult, I can't think of what would!

Beyond that, the average price for the Birth Control Pill, after Insurance, is approximately $25. At 25 cents per meal, that means each month's worth of pills is worth the same as 100 meals. Break that down by days, and each individual pill is worth 3.3 meals.

That means, if you gave up your birth control pills for just 1 month, and sent the money you saved to feed the poor, you could feed 1 person 3 square meals a day for that entire month, and have leftovers.

So the decision is yours- have 'responsibility free' sex and let that person die of starvation, or take responsibility for your role as a memeber of the global community- live without birth control pills for just 1 month- and save a fellow human from a gruesome, slow death due to starvation.

To me, that's a no-brainer.


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