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Archive for November 3rd, 2013

Offline: A Plague Rises in Ethiopia

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 3, 2013

These posters would be illegal in the UK

PIIS0140673613622175.fx1.lrgIt’s time to revivify the campaign against tobacco in Africa. Last week a letter and photographs arrived from a physician in Ethiopia (who prefers to remain nameless). He writes:

“I work in Ethiopia and am bringing to your attention posters that have appeared in Addis Ababa over the past several months that advertise Rothmans cigarettes. These posters would be illegal in the UK. They target poor people, in line with the targeting of many developing countries by tobacco companies. The posters and words on the cigarette packs are in English, not in Amharic (the official language of Ethiopia). So health warnings are in a language that is not understandable by many poor Ethiopians. The health warning is printed in a very small area of the pack, on the side, and in barely visible gold lettering. I ask you to ponder the health consequences and costs to human lives and health care in developing countries if the prevalence of smoking increases from less than 10%, as it is now, to 25—30% or more as a result of British American Tobacco (BAT) marketing and advertising in poor countries. Last week, a 3-year-old girl came up to me clutching a pack of Rothmans to her chest: her poor mother was trying to sell them to me.”

According to Ethiopian news sources, the tobacco market in Ethiopia will grow substantially over coming years. Ethiopia’s National Tobacco Enterprise (NTE) has a monopoly on manufacturing and importing all tobacco products into the country. 78% of NTE is owned by the Ethiopian government. Which means the government is colluding in an epidemic of death among its own people, a truly extraordinary situation. NTE predicts, even boasts, accelerated sales of cigarettes over the next 5 years. Perversely, the company has said “our main focus is on social responsibility, rather than profit”. In January this year, Ethiopia’s Foreign Affairs (and former Health) Minister, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, visited the UK. One of his meetings was a roundtable discussion with over 30 UK companies—one of which was BAT. Come on Tedros, my friend, end this charade.



Posted in Ethiopia, Infos | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Morning-after Pill is a Cure for ‘The Unexpected,’ Billboard Tells Ethiopian Girls

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on November 3, 2013

This billboard Would be illegal in Europe!

To the American viewer, the towering billboard’s purpose is ambiguous. But to young Ethiopian women, EthiopiaBillboardthe lovely young woman is a picture of confidence and “progress.” Even to the target audience it takes a moment to realize that the small foil package in her hand, taking up just a fraction of the poster, is the product the advertisement is pushing. The billboard’s tactic is to first sell the image of prosperity and beauty to its viewers, the poor young women of the town of Awassa, Ethiopia, and then to boldly claim its product is an integral part of that desirable lifestyle.

The billboard, advertising a high dosage of the contraceptive levonorgestrel as a remedy for “the unexpected,” is dangerous because of its subtle suggestion that this drug is key to the progressive lifestyle, yet at the same time the drug is itself really no big deal. It is just a small facet of everyday life, nothing to worry about.

The careless attitude being sold is that human sexuality is unimportant. Having unintended sex is fine because you can take care of any unwanted consequences in a minute: “When you have unprotected sex, take this medicine [sic] within five days, and you will prevent an unplanned pregnancy.” Most women who see this and buy the subtle message won’t bother or don’t have the means to do a web search on the drug to find out about its troubling side effects. They may very well think that, with this miracle drug available, it is safe to have sex, without knowing that the drug does nothing to stop HIV/AIDS transmission, and can make this worse since women will think there is a “safe” way to deal with “the unexpected.”

These women will not see the scientific literature on levonorgestrel-based contraceptives that show that the drug can act as an abortifacient by preventing implantation of a human embryo, although as always the drug’s marketers claim that it “shouldn’t affect or terminate an existing pregnancy.”

And these are only the physical effects. In the confident woman’s assuring glance at the viewer, we don’t see how hormonal contraception leads – as even many secular writers now acknowledge – to the objectification and disempowerment of women.

Unfortunately the false sense of simplicity of this message is likely convincing to many young women; but for anyone who still feels vaguely uncomfortable with or resistant to the idea of using the drug, the billboard advertisement holds up International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) as an agency that supports “women’s health.”

The billboard is an attack from all sides, using young women’s desires and aspirations, their insecurities and worries, and their trust in medical professionals as weapons against them. The false offer of freedom and power is presented as a means of exploiting the impressionable and the vulnerable—all in the name of women’s health.

How about another billboard, one with a woman who has found that true love and better health means a rejection of this message. Her message to the woman holding the foil package?: “No thanks!”


Exorcist Author: Abortion is ‘Demonic’

AbortionAuthor William Peter Blatty has frightened millions of people around the world with visions of the devil living inside a young woman in his best-selling novel The Exorcist. But this week he said that there is something else just as frightening and “demonic” as possession – the act of destroying a life within his mother.

Blatty told Dan Zak of The Washington Post that abortion is truly the work of the devil.

In his book Blatty wrote about projectile vomiting, disintegrating flesh, and spinning heads – but it’s abortion that he can’t get out of his mind.

“He describes, his voice trembling, a particular abortion procedure in graphic detail,” Zak wrote. “He pauses. His voice is nearly a whisper.”

“That’s demonic,” Blatty said. (Emphasis in original.)

Continue reading…

19 Fascinating Facts About “The Exorcist” (The Movie)


Posted in Ethiopia, Infos, Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 34 Comments »

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