Invited Critique |

Beware of the Sleeping Panther:  Comment on “Implementing Liberia's Poverty Reduction Strategy: An Assessment of Emergency and Essential Surgical Care”

William P. Schecter, MD
Arch Surg. 2011;146(1):39-40. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2010.286.
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The appalling lack of infrastructure, surgical equipment, and trained personnel documented in the Sherman et al article are not unique to Liberia. They must be viewed in the larger context of Africa, the home of 1 billion people and a continent plagued by war, vicious ethnic violence, and unimaginable poverty.1

Political instability, corruption, and devastation of the working adult population by human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS,2 tuberculosis,3 and malaria4 discourage a competitive market economy and foreign investment. Proliferation of desert regions and a rapidly growing population have resulted in mass starvation. Quite simply, arid Africa can no longer feed itself.5

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