AKA Why it sucks to be born in Africa.
Life is hard if you’re not in the West. An article today in National Geographic talks about Death Maps, an excellent visualization of how certain types of death impact certain areas of the world. As everyone knows, AIDS is hitting Africa hard. That’s true for a wide range of preventable diseases as well. Largely, this is an issue of poverty and apathy. Modern Western Colonialism doesn’t take the form of troops of British redcoats marching through the jungle, but instead sprawling farms that drive down the price of food and use up land that local inhabitants can no longer use to produce food for themselves. Vast amounts of debt on top of this (thank you, World Bank) ensure that economies are depressed. The effect is easy to see, even if the media fails to see the Hand.
The top part of the map shows the deaths due to preventable diseases as a proportion of the population. The bottom map shows the proportion of the population to the land size. So India, which has a high density of people per square mile appears much larger than Canada and Australia, which have very low densities. The top map indicates that the larger a country is in comparison to its value in the bottom map, the more it suffers from deaths due to preventable disease. The AIDS map shows an even more disgustingly bloated African continent.
The only map where the West beats other countries is in lung cancer. This could be due to the larger number of chemicals we are exposed to or it could be an indication that we live long enough to be effected by it, while people in the rest of the world die to other, more expedient killers.