“there is no public health without environmental health”

tree1A recent article in The Guardian posits that “How saving West African forests might have prevented the Ebola epidemic” Now, Ebola seems to be developing as all panic-flavour of the month*, which I wouldn’t want to contribute to. The reason I’m writing this blog post is to share yet another reason why we should be careful with with what we do to Creation: we can use it, but not abuse it (we’re only guardians – or: we are guardians of Creation, a serious job, the delivery of which will be written on our record). For the moment our record is bleak and moving in the wrong direction. The article linked above mentions: “Once blanketed with forests, West Africa has been skinned alive over the last decade. Guinea’s rainforests have been reduced by 80%, while Liberia has sold logging rights to over half its forests. Within the next few years Sierra Leone is on track to be completely deforested.”

Two verses from the Quran as food for thought:

And it is He who has made you successors upon the earth and has raised some of you above others in degrees [of rank] that He may try you through what He has given you. Indeed, your Lord is swift in penalty; but indeed, He is Forgiving and Merciful.” (Quran 6:165)

We have certainly created man in the best of stature; Then We return him to the lowest of the low, Except for those who believe and do righteous deeds, for they will have a reward uninterrupted.” (Quran 95: 4-6)

* if we look at the statistics beyond the time of media attention: ebola has to date killed a total of less than five thousand; compare that e.g. undernutrition being a contributory factor in the death of 3.1 million children under five every year (and then we haven’t yet looked at women, the elderly, men…).

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