Select Committee on International Development Minutes of Evidence

Examination of Witnesses (Questions 460 - 462)



Mr Rowe

  460. I want to ask you two entirely different questions. The first one is that listening to you this morning has made me wonder whether there is not a scope in some countries at least for creating really —" I do not know what phrase to use —" youth brigades because actually if you are going to have a lot of orphans and young people with whom the extended family is having difficulty coping, the possibility of giving them a much more disciplined and centralised education/training just seems to me to be at least worth thinking about. The other one I want to ask you which is quite different is that in the future we will have great difficulty, will we not, in ascertaining what is really happening in disease because at the moment malaria still kills more people than HIV/AIDS but if their immune systems are destroyed malaria will probably increase enormously and a lot of our strategies for combatting worldwide disease will be distorted by this if we have not got the information that they have HIV as well? Those are two totally different questions which I wanted to ask.
  (Mr du Guerny) Yes, they are very different. The youth brigade, when I have been reading what NGOs have been doing I have not come across such an idea or I have not seen it discussed. I really cannot answer. It would require quite a lot of organisation.

  461. Indeed.
  (Mr du Guerny) Which in the rural areas would be quite new for them. I am really not quite sure what it would involve. The only example, since you use the word "brigade", is an army and that on the AIDS side is certainly not a success in most countries. They are among the most highly infected segments of the population. One would have to be extremely careful that such a thing would not happen with the youth brigade. As to changing the face of epidemiology and the strategies in that area, yes, it does have serious implications because there are re-emerging diseases. As you say, malaria and TB are certainly going to become much more important. The dangers are that drug resistance develops and these diseases become much more costly to deal with effectively, particularly these dangers exist with rural populations where there is not the infrastructure to ensure that rather constraining medication systems have to be enforced. The classic thing with TB is people feel better rather quickly and then stop taking the antibiotics and there is no way to enforce it. Then TB can become resistant and since it is contagious could have very serious consequences. I think, again, the future of disease could be quite different from what we have known from the last few decades. You really have to ask the epidemiologists all this.


  462. Thank you very much indeed for a very valuable evidence session to us. We would like to thank you very much indeed for coming all the way from Rome to give us your evidence which is, as I said, extremely valuable to us in this study of what we should do and how we should intervene to help the terrible scourge that AIDS is presenting to the agricultural community and to the whole population. Thank you very much indeed, Mr du Guerny, for coming and giving us your help.
  (Mr du Guerny) Thank you. It has been a pleasure. I hope it has been helpful.

  Chairman: Yes, it has been very helpful indeed.

  Ann Clwyd: Very interesting.

  Chairman: Yes, very interesting. Thank you.

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