A Kernel of Corruption

I arrived in Seychelles (to attend a global counter-piracy conference) without my yellow-colored yellow fever card. I haven’t been asked for that in fifteen years. Authorities at the airport rounded up those besides me who also didn’t have theirs and made us all stand to the side like delinquent school children. Eventually, we were given a written order to get a yellow fever shot at the hospital in Victoria, the capital of the Seychelles. We had just twenty-four hours to do so.

The next day I dutifully arrived at the hospital for my jab. The place was practically empty save for a secretary at her desk on the cell phone. I told her I was there for my yellow fever shot. She gave me a piece of paper and sent me to the admin section of hospital – a lovely British Colonial building – to pay 100 Seychelloise rupees ($12) for the shot. I went back to the hospital and gave my receipt to the secretary. She took it, thanked me, and returned to her phone conversation.

“Aren’t I supposed to get a vaccination for yellow fever?”, I asked.

“No, you just go.”

So, not only does the hospital collect money, they save themselves the cost of having to pay for and administer the vaccine.

The NY DA’s office doesn’t work much differently — they  cannot be bothered with the time and expense of a trial; instead they offer criminals a minimum prison sentence and at same time look good with another conviction under their belt. NEXT!

Categories: PassportTags:

Margot Kiser | Conflict in Context

I am a Kenya-based American correspondent, focusing on conflict in East Africa. I have contributed to Newsweek, Al Jazeera, The Daily Beast, among others.

Follow me on Twitter: @margotkiser1

Best long read ByLiner 2011 for my Newsweek feature, 'Pirates in Paradise' http://byliner.com/margot-kiser/stories
http://www.newsweek.com/authors/margot-kiser

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