This piece originally appeared in Physician Family magazine, Summer 2018
We hardly give it a second thought. A cut finger and we grab a bandage from the first aid kit. A slight fever and we run to the medicine cabinet for Ibuprofen. Something more serious and our physician calls in a prescription which we pick up at the nearby pharmacy.
But for millions of people living in poor countries, there are no first aid kits or medicine cabinets. Pharmacies, often a day’s journey or more away, stock medicine far too expensive for the average person—or worse, pills made of useless or toxic materials.
So cuts go untreated and uncovered—often resulting in major infections. Fevers continue to rise and diseases go untreated. And chronic conditions that could be easily managed become an early death sentence.