July 07, 2009

Sanitizer withheld from flu-ravaged reserves

Alcohol fears led Ottawa to withhold hand sanitizer from flu-ravaged reserves

Revelation exposes another fissure in the $1-billion national pandemic plan

By Patrick White
In the critical days after dozens of Manitoba aboriginals fell severely ill with swine flu, Health Canada hesitated in sending desperately needed hand sanitizer to native towns because of concerns that people would ingest the alcohol-based gel.

The revelation arose Tuesday during a Senate probe of the federal government's response to the H1N1 outbreak on reserves and exposes yet another fissure in the $1-billion national pandemic plan that many aboriginal leaders say has failed them.

Kim Barker, public health adviser for the Assembly of First Nations, told the Senate committee on aboriginal peoples she was “devastated” when she first heard that health officials were spending precious time debating the wisdom of sending hand sanitizer--which can contain up to 70-per-cent alcohol--to the communities.

“We heard that ... people were spending days discussing the pros and cons of a non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer versus an alcohol-based one because of the concerns about addictions in communities,” she said. “It was absolutely outrageous.”
Comment:  I don't know how realistic these "concerns" were, but actual deaths from swine flu should've trumped hypothetical fears about substance abuse.

How about making a concerted effort to supply non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead of talking about it? Better yet, send good old-fashioned soap--either in liquid or bar form.

For a discussion of this issue, see Canada’s Swine Flu Shame. For more on the subject, see Drunken Indians.


Unknown said...

Jesus H. Christ...send me an address and I will go to my local 99cents store and send some instant Hand Sanitizer Gel - the same we use in our offices!

Unknown said...

OMG why!? This is dumber than the event that happened over the use of niggardly. They think natives are soooo deep into alcoholism and so impoverished that they/we would go so far as to drinking anything that has or says "alcohol" on it? What a nose load of B.O. I would love to go toe-to-toe with the first ass that thinks so.

This a VERY good example of why stereotypes should not be used as a means for "equal opportunists" to use since most people learn from them rather than just take it as a gag and such. Since the stereotype of Indians being raging alcoholics is a pop-culture favorite, Manitoba people are suffering and literally dying from it hence this article which, I do believe, is true since what people do think and say these days don't suprise me anymore neither second guess if what they say is true to their thoughts.

Here's a message for Health Canada:

"You racist sons of whores, give them freakin' handsanitizer! Its freakin' handsanitizer!"