The old weblog of Emma Boyd :: now blogging at

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Recently God has been breaking my heart over Africa, and laying it heavy on my heart. Some statistics about Africa for you (courtesy of National Geographic)...
  • Percentage of worlds total landmass: 20
  • Population: 900 million, 14% world total
  • Number of languages spoken: over 2000
  • Number of democratic governments: 19, of a total of 53 nations
  • Average income: 50% of Africans live on less than $1 a day
  • Average life expectancy: 46 in sub-Saharan Africa, 67 in North Africa.
  • Infant mortality rates: 102 per 1000 in sub-Saharan Africa, 33 per 1000 in North Africa.
  • Most common cause of death: AIDS

And you know, I just cant understand it. The following stats about HIV/AIDS break my heart...

  • Number of people worldwide with HIV: 40 million
  • Number in sub-Saharan Africa: 26 million
  • Number of people in sub-Saharan Africa contracting HIV daily: 8,500
  • Number dying of AIDS daily: 6,300
  • Number South Africans needing ARV drugs to prevent progression of illness & death: 983,000
  • Number receiving medication: 117,00
  • Annual cost of three-drug, generic ARV regimen per patient in Africa: $650
  • Cost per patient for ARV drugs in the US: $10,000

How can there be such pain and suffering caused by a PREVENTABLE disease? How can it cost so much more to provide treatment for the same disease in the US (and probably the UK and Ireland too, I dont know the stats), than it costs in Africa? If we cut down the costs here, couldnt we treat many more Africans? How can we let them die like this?? I dont understand it at all. I have to do something. I'm searching for some way to contribute to this great continent.


Blogger Kathryn said...

you've seen "The Constant Gardener", haven't you? Wow. . how about "Beyond Borders", "Hotel Rwanda", "Tears of the Sun"?? Those movies are so difficult to watch, but we must know the truth, so we can try to find ways to help. What compelling stats. . oh boy. I'm glad that God has put Africa on your heart. . I think we should all have this same burden. I feel it too. Whenever i hear of a chance to do something, i do, even if its only a bit. A few years back a friend was going to Chikankata, and gave us all a list of what was needed there. . I purchased some bolts of fabric, scissors, spools of thread, seam binding, etc. . sent it with her. We've given to operation Christmas Child for Samaritan's Purse. We like to give 'gifts' from World Vision to needy people all over the world, in honour of our family and friends at Christmas. . there are tons of ways to help! As I'm certain you know of. I often don't feel like i'm doing much with the One Campaign. . but i send the emails to my government officials, etc. so that's a little thing. There are those cool websites whereby a single mouse click can get some water or food to someone. And then there's PRAYER!!!!

God bless you, hon. You have his heart. .


3:13 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

If there really is a god why is he letting Africa be fucked over like it is?

I'd say your big man in the sky exists only in your head.

4:36 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh and I feel angry about Africa too, but god doesn't "put it on my heart".
That's the problem with you bible-bashers, you act as if people can only be compassionate if they're religious.

4:38 pm

Blogger emmsy said...

you know what 'anonymous'? I understand. I've often questioned how God can let it happen. But at the end of the day, I guess it boils down to trust. At the end of the day, while the suffering in Africa (which lets be honest, I cant even begin to imagine fully) breaks my heart, I still trust that God is in the midst of it somewhere and that He cares passionately for the people suffering.

I'm really sorry if you see me as a 'bible-basher', thats never what I want. Yes, I write about the Bible and about God, because thats a huge part of who I am. But I have never said or thought that you have to be 'religious' to be compassionate. I dont want to come across as being 'religious' - Jesus didnt come to give me (or you) religion, rules or regulations - He came for relationships. He came to give me life! And i wont ever settle for religion.

8:07 pm


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