Access to health in the developping world

Exclusively written for the Sting by Ms Unsa Athar, a fourth year medical student from King Edward Medical University in Lahore, Pakistan. Ms Athar is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA).

Unsa Athar.jpg

Ms Unsa Athra is a fourth year medical student in Lahore, Pakistan.

Access to health in developing countries like Pakistan is affected by a number of factors. Poverty, poor infrastructure, low literacy rate, politicization of health care matters etc. One of the most important factor is lack of awareness. Myths, religious beliefs, words of the elderly, blind people, even the educated ones. I was once strolling in the waiting area of my teaching hospital, asking people if their kids were vaccinated and most of the parents said ‘No, we didn’t complete the course because our kid becomes cranky after taking the drops.’ Some people believed that polio drops would make their kids sterile because the head of their town said so. The government of Pakistan has worked really hard on the door to door polio drops campaign but what could can come out of it if people are not well aware of the consequences of saying no to the drops?

I do not know who is at fault here. The government or the doctors. The government plays advertisements on T.V. forgetting about the population who lives below the poverty line and has no T.V.! The doctors in the outpatient department in a big city hospital have to check 100 patients on daily basis. So they probably forget to guide their patients while writing prescriptions.

But as a medical student I do know that I can play a very important part in spreading awareness. And that is what I would like to share with the readers. Medical students in Pakistan are actively involved in a number of volunteer activities to improve access to basic health care. The most recent one that I have come across is “Volunteer Force Against Hepatitis Transmission.” Under the banner of this campaign, during their ward rotations students are guiding all the patients they encounter about the spread, effects, treatment and prevention of hepatitis. About 10 million people are infected with hepatitis C in Pakistan. By simply talking to people about it and telling them what to do can have a significant effect on reducing the morbidity. Another such awareness campaign led by students that I was a part of is “Maternal Child Health Care Program.” We went to the pediatric ward and talked to the mothers there about their gynecological and obstetric history, what home remedies they can do if their newborns suffer from some ailment and when to let go of the home remedies and seek help.

I have mentioned these two examples not to brag about our enthusiastic medical students. I am sure medical students have the same zeal all over the world. The actual reason behind writing this article is to urge the readers from developed countries to extend a helping hand to the developing nations. Bringing change at the government level is complicated and political I know, but providing our medical students with ideas, resources, and positive energy is not that difficult, is it? We have man power; we have passion; all we need is support from the world to make medical students our saviours.

About the author
Unsa Athar is a fourth year medical student from King Edward Medical University, Lahore. She is currently the Publications Support Division Director, IFMSA-Pakistan and has had her articles published in Medical Student International and US, The weekly magazine of the THE NEWS INTERNATIONAL. She is also currently heading the official blog of King Edward Medical University, KEMUNITED (www.kemunited.com) She loves to read, write, and act! She is known in her alma mater for her acting skills. She is an active member of many student activities in her institute and believes in being the change she wants to see in the world.

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Featured Stings

Court of Auditors: EU spending infested with errors well above the materiality threshold of 2%

The developing countries keep the world going

10 months were not enough for the EU to save the environment but 2 days are

LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS LAUNCHES TOOL FOR YOUNG PEOPLE TO COMPARE POLITICAL PARTIES AHEAD OF EU ELECTIONS

How the EU crisis hit countries saved the German and French mega-banks from bankruptcy and still pay the costs

Predatory labour taxation not an issue for the Commission

European Union: From financial consolidation to deeper political division

Trailing the US-EU economic confrontation

A Sting Exclusive: “Global Climate: Our Common Responsibility”, S&P MEP Miriam Dalli underlines from Brussels

What options the new President of Ukraine has?

Why Commissioner Rehn wants us all to work more for less

Vulnerable young people must not be blamed & stigmatised for violent radicalisation

Negative inflation hits Eurozone, ECB to print and distribute one trillion euro earlier than expected

Politics still matter in the US but not in Europe

The EU threatens to impose extra import duties on Chinese products

EU and China resolve amicably solar panel trade dispute

Why will Paris upcoming “loose” climate change agreement work better than the previous ones?

Eurozone: Black economy loves the South

EU Top Jobs summit ended with no agreement: welcome to Europe’s quicksand!

European markets itchy with short-term disturbances

Can the EU afford to block China’s business openings to Europe by denying her the ‘market economy status’?

Is “Sustainable Development” a concept that integrates Health Literacy and Health Policy as a global health action?

AIESEC @ European Business Summit 2015: The power of an individual and how we can awaken Europe’s Youth

EU plans to exploit the Mediterranean Sea and the wealth beneath it

ECB to support only banks not Peoples

Zhua Zhou: Choosing The Future

Three countries losing ground and one new prime minister

EU to finance new investment projects with extra borrowing; French and Italian deficits to be tolerated

The Parliament accuses core EU countries of exploiting their dominant political position

Eurostat confirms a dangerously fast falling inflation in Eurozone

Why Renewable Energy is an attractive investment

Greece: Tsipras’ referendum victory does not solve the financial stalemate of the country and its banks

Google succumbs unconditionally to EU’s “right to be forgotten” ruling

EU accused of being too nice with Gazprom in the infamous antitrust case

Look Mom, even the House of Lords says the #righttobeforgotten is not right

Industry 4.0: Championing Europe’s fourth industrial revolution

Hardened creditors drive Greece to dire straits; Tsipras desperate for an agreement

The revenge of the fallen

The European Youth Forum needs better signal for its “call” for Quality Internships

EU citizens disenchanted with Economic and Monetary Union over rising poverty and high unemployment

Appalling overall unemployment in Eurozone at 20.6%

Italy can stand the US rating agencies’ meaningless degrading

Lessons from the Global Entrepreneurship Index

Why the Greeks forgave Tsipras’ pirouettes around austerity and voted again for SYRIZA

South Eurozone needs some…inflation and liquidity

Merry Christmas from Erdogan, Putin, Mogherini and the Polish firefighter

TTIP update: postponed vote and INTA meeting shuffle cards again

The Parliament sets the way for the European Banking Union

EntEx Organises 5 Summer Schools for Young Entrepreneurs across Europe in June/July 2014

Cheap sea transport with low cost seafarers

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s