More People Who Will Kill You for Money

Posted in Opinions on July 13th, 2009 by MadDog
No Gravatar

Well, here I go again, playing the dicey game of “Nail the Quack to the Wall.”

Today I went quack hunting again at the market. I couldn’t find anybody selling treated mosquito nets, though I searched the entire market. I really wanted to nail one of those slugs. If you’re not getting it, let me explain. Insecticide treated bed nets flow into the country from outside agencies for free distribution. Guess what. Surprise, surprise, there are criminals who get their greasy hands on the distribution network and, of course, the outcome is easy to figure. The people who are supposed to get them for free end up paying (or not) for them at the market. Maybe I’ll catch one later.

What are treated bed nets? Simply the most effective preventative known for malaria, which is trying to kill us all, but ends up usually killing only those who can’t afford preventatives or treatment. I’ve had it seven times, and I’m not dead yet. I have access to expensive medicines for treatment and I sleep in a sealed air-conditioned bedroom. What chance do others have? Yeah, let’s steal the free bed nets and them make the poorest of the poor pay for them – or die.

In the meantime, there is no shortage of people around who will kill you for money. Got cancer, a dose of clap, syphilis, TB?  Is your appendix about to burst? This lady can “help you”. Help you into the next world, that is:

A quack - Madang, Papua New Guinea

Note the carefully blurred official looking name tag. I blurred it to protect myself, not her. Lighting should strike her (lightly – just to knock some sense into her). I don’t mean that I actually want  lightning to strike her, but if it has to strike somebody  around Madang in the near future, then I’d say that she’s a logical candidate. It would save lives. She’d be collateral damage in the war against gross immorality – the kind that kills people.

The name tag has the name of her company, which I will not disclose, her name and photo as a “Sales Representative”, and it includes an image of the official state emblem, a bird of paradise with a drum and spears.

Imagine if you are unimaginably poor, ignorant of all modern medical theory, and susceptible to the wildest claims concerning “traditional remedies”. And you’ve got TB, as if you needed more problems. This woman claims she can cure you. What she can really do is keep you from getting a proper course of antibiotics that could very likely make you well again. The minute you start to take her “medicine”, you are doomed.

The guy running this horror show wasn’t around when I snapped this shot. However, as soon as I walked away, he came out of the store and tried to ask me what I was doing. I just kept walking:

A quack's advertisement - Madang, Papua New Guinea

Well, why not just claim to cure everything?  If I were going to do it, that’s what I’d do. If you’re going to lie, lie big.

Since I started walking around harassing these people a couple of times a month, I’ve noticed that many have removed HIV/AIDS from their signs. I nailed them specifically on that one, because I figured, if it came down to police and court cases, they would be pounded hardest on that claim.

I always ask the same question of anybody who doubts that these people are liars. If any one of them had a genuine cure for any one of the diseases that he claims that he can cure, then why is he not filthy rich?