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Health Challenges of the Peacekeeper in Africa: A Practical Briefing. Col(Ret) Lesley-Ann Jacobs Defence Analyst Defence Decision Support Institute
Col(Ret) Lesley-Ann Jacobs
Defence Decision Support Institute
Note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the presenter and do not in any way reflect the official standpoint of the Dept of Defence or any of it’s components. All material used has been sourced, unless otherwise stated, from public domain sites.
SUPPORT AND SUSTAINMENT
POSTEDFIT Capability Elements
Functional Attributes of a Capability
Command and control
Self Inflicted Disease
Diseases spread through insects which function as a vector, e.g malaria, plague, tick bite fever,. These may be bacterial, viral or parasitic. Vectors include fleas, lice, mosquitoes, ticks, bugs, etc.
Malaria (parasite) is more deadly than HIV in Africa.
Mosquitoes are the greatest menace carrying amongst others malaria, dengue, West Nile Virus and yellow fever
Black flies carry river blindness
Ticks host various diseases e.g typhus, Lyme disease
Lice can carry typhus
Tsetse flies transmit sleeping sickness
Elephantiasis is caused by a parasite
Contaminated water, soil and food (as well as clothing and shoes that come into contact with it) can spread many diseases. These may be fungal, viral, bacterial, protozoa or parasitic. Helminthes like hookworms and tapeworms are spread in this manner. Other examples are cholera, polio, anthrax, Typhoid fever, Hepatitis A, diarrhoea caused by different organisms.
Many parasites infect humans of which malaria and intestinal worms are extremely common.
Over 100 different types of parasitic worms can live in the human body- causing many symptoms. These organisms can be found everywhere such as in the air, water, soil or food humans eat.
WHO estimates that one quarter of the world’s population suffers from chronic intestinal parasitic infections
Tapeworm can become 6 m long in the human intestine
Hookworms lead to anaemia and malnutrition- with all consequences thereof
Contagious Diseases (Human To Human)
Diseases spread through contact with other infected humans- through touch, bodily fluids such as blood, saliva, droplets (sneezing), semen, vaginal fluid, or excreta
Examples: Measles; Tuberculosis; Polio; Sexually transmitted disease such as HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis; Influenza; Meningitis; Viral Hemorrhagic Fever (Ebola, Marburg, Yellow Fever, Lassa Fever, Crimean Congo Fever )
Source:Bowman, B, et al. Violence and Injuries. Disease and Mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Bank. 2006
Exacerbated by infections
Poor food choices
Alcohol is widely available, cheap and consumed in copious amounts
Pollution and Contamination
Stress associated with armed conflict is less common in SA Soldiers deployed in current operations
Source: Col A Neale (Directorate Psych, SAMHS, SANDF)
Operationally deployed soldiers tend to regress with needs becoming increasingly basic