Thursday, February 7, 2013

Probably, But I'm Willing to Risk It

The inability of women in rural Egypt to clean their breasts is causing a diarrhoea epidemic, according to the country's Prime Minister Hisham Qandil.

Qandil was speaking about the spate of recent epidemics in Egypt's rural communities. During the address, he said he had witnessed children suffering from diarrhoea immediately after they have been breastfed because their mothers were unable to clean themselves probably. He added that many women in rural Egypt don't even bother to clean their breasts at all before feeding their toddlers.
I hadn't really thought about it much before, but I doubt many other primates cleanse their breasts before breast feeding their young.  While women who do really dirty work might wish to do so, I would think that clothes would be sufficient to prevent most serious contamination.  Besides, it's becoming pretty well established that kids need exposure to a variety of germs to develop a well developed immune response.  A bad case of diarrhea or two is probably worth avoiding a lifetime with asthma.

Qandil made his remarks during an address at a cabinet meeting. Women members present were noticeably uncomfortable as Qandil made the comments.

Qandil previously caused widespread anger by offering a bizarre solution to Egypt's power crisis. He urged the Egyptians to wear cotton clothes and gather in a single room to conserve power.
Now that will have to be a big room; the population of  Egypt is estimated to be roughly 80 million.

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