“Prevention is better than cure”: the main goal of modern medicine

SDG Health 2018

(World Health Organisation, 2018)

This article was exclusively written for the Sting by Mr Nicolo Baldini, a medicine and surgery student at Università Politecnica Delle Marche. He is affiliated to the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA). However, the opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.

The cost of a life-long treatment is approximately $379668 [1]. Measles is a potentially deadly disease. Every year 842,000 deaths are due to waterborne diseases.

What do these three situations share? All of the three are preventable.

As young medical students and future doctors we must have prevention as our main goal. Currently in our society financial resources are running lower and lower. Even in more developed countries more and more people are getting below the poverty line because of the costs of treatments.

These are estimated to be roughly 100,000,000 every year[2]. As many cannot afford the treatments themselves. Also NHS all over the word are cutting resources. In order to cope with this situation, we should aim at health education starting with young kids,
making vaccines available to everyone and keeping the coverage as high as possible.

It would be necessary to set up facilities where people can get water safely also in underdeveloped or less rich countries. What we need is will, high investments, but mostly the possibility to coordinate stakeholders: we, future doctors, are to be the coordinators of this process.

Moreover, through prevention we can save relevant amounts of public money, which can be reinvested in research. It would start a process which could increase both the number of preventable diseases and the number the eradicated ones.

This is not as easy above all in the areas where the number of sick people is higher, health and hygienic conditions are poor and water is contaminated. These areas need cooperation between local authorities and international organizations as the World Health Organization states.

I do believe that such great differences in the degree of assistance is unacceptable. Medical assistance is a universal right, which no person, either rich or poor, should be deprived of.

Thus, it is doctors’ duty to make every effort in order to fulfil these sustainable goals. I, as well as many other med students my own age, will do my best to achieve all this.

References

[1] “HIV Cost-effectiveness”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved 2017-09-05.

[2] World Health Organization Executive Board 132nd session, agenda item 10.3. Universal health coverage. Report by the Secretariat. January 2013. Accessible at: http://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/EB132/B132_22-en.pdf Accessed 22/2/15

About the author

I was born and grown up in Ancona, where I have studied at a secondary school specialising in humanities. Now I attend the medicine and surgery course at “Università Politecnica Delle Marche”. Last year I attended “Scuola di Politiche”, The School of Policies in Rome, set up by the former Italian Prime Minister, Enrico Letta. I have many interests and passions. Among them drama and scouting are the ones which have played a major role in my growth. Whatever I do is strictly connected with two characteristics which are highly relevant to me: curiosity and respect to the others.

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