Wednesday, September 05, 2007

News of the Day

A quick review of the local news so far this week:
  • Finally some business men in Gjirokastra have found a very wise solution to the lack of electrical power which is plagueing this country! Wind generators have been installed and it turns out they cost less to run than oil run generators. Now why can't these wind generators be used all over the country? You see them in many other countries, like Canada and Austria. They're enviromentally friendly and produce more than sufficient energy. And why not look into solar solutions? Especially in a hot, sunny country like Albania?
  • The pension for an Albanian living in a rural area is Lek 4,520/month and in a city area it is Lek 5,410/month, both roughly equivalent to $50.00 US. I don't know how anyone can live on that income even in Albania, where the cost of living is rising all the time. Because of the extreme drought this year, the prices of fruits, vegetables, and more especially grain has skyrocketed. Not that most countries take great care of the elderly, but here in Albania I think people generally do have a lot of respect for the pensioners, which should translate into giving them enough funds to live with dignity.
  • There's an interesting editorial about "The Undesired Freedom of the Medias", something that has been fought for in many ex-communist countries in eastern Europe. Apparently it is backfiring here in Albania, where the 20 or so daily papers have so much freedom that they liberally make up stories and scandals. Now the people just don't believe in the newspapers! Talk about crying "wolf"!
  • With power cuts lasting up to 6 hours in Tirana and 18 hours (yes 18 HOURS!) in remote areas, there have to be some serious ramifications in the health sector. And so we find an article about the significant rise in poisoning cases due to unrefrigerated food products. At least 90 cases a day are being treated at the infectious disease emergency service here in Tirana, double the normal number.
  • More than 6,000 young girls and women had abortions last year, but because of the increasing number of pregnant women keeping their abortions secret by giving bribes to doctors the official abortion statistics are unreliable. According to a recent study by the Public Health Institute, at least 78% of doctors at public maternity hospitals have been bribed into keeping the secret. The study also found that only 8% of married couples use contraceptives. I find this astonishing! In one area of Albania, the abortion rate EXCEEDS the birth rate! Surely it's time for some dedicated NGO to jump in with an educational campaign aimed at teaching reliable forms of birth control?


hockeyman said...

8% birth control for married couples????? shit here comes another one... its amazing..

Unknown said...

Shocking facts.
Btw, thanks for visiting my blog.
You lived in Amsterdam?
Greetings from a Dutch in Istanbul