After years of observing international ads, movies, and books, I was surprised to notice that there is a great emphasis in the 21st century public media on the exponential progress of medicine and the growing possibility of man achieving immortality. But our reality is not even close to these surreal expectations. It is true that day after day private and government organizations are innovating better technologies to battle diseases and global epidemics; however, millions of people are still suffering from the most basic forms of diseases and health complications: some caused by poverty and malnourishment, others caused or increased by political mayhem-both locally and globally.
One event that I have witnessed personally was the disappearance of the RHO GAM injection earlier this year in Egypt. A RhoGAM injection is an injection of Rh immunoglobulin which is given to RH negative women-about 15% of the population- after at most 72 hours of birth to prevent the formation of antibodies to Rh positive blood. This medication is used to prevent a complication of pregnancy known as Rhesus disease to the next newborn, in which the mother’s immune system attacks her child’s blood causing internal bleeding, heart and kidney failure, and shock to the newborn child. Introduced in the 1960s, the Rh immunoglobulin basically prevents the mother’s immune system from attacking her baby’s blood, globally eradicating Rhesus disease.
In late 2016, the value of the Egyptian currency plummeted, and the Egyptian economy was on the verge of collapse, causing a nation-wide depletion of essential goods. Last February, new parents were shocked that the RHO GAM injection, which should be administrated within 3 days of delivery, was out of stock in nearly all authorized pharmacies and hospitals. Black market and illegal merchants used the crisis to sell corrupt or expired injections with unimaginably high prices with more than 500% increase in value. The crisis continued for days until authenticated injections were available in the market, but the damage was inevitable; thousands of innocent mothers were administrated useless injections that will show their effects after the next pregnancy. This significant incident hasn’t made international news, and the mothers whose future children might be affected will be too scattered to inform the public of this abominable crime. This event gives a minute example of the health calamities of developing countries that cause fatal injuries, lethal diseases, and horrible deaths that were absolutely preventable.
According to the 2016 UN Sustainable Development Goals Report, “Maternal, newborn, and child mortality rates have declined sharply since 1990 but are still unacceptably high”. “The incidence of major communicable diseases is declining, although hundreds of millions of people are still newly infected each year”. I consider these notes, along with my own observations, as solid evidence that we still have a long road in order to achieve medical stability to most, if not all people in every single country, state, or city. Yes people will still die, diseases will still spread, and man will still kill his fellow man, but isn’t it beautiful if each one of us, after a short or long lifetime, ponders back and silently thinks,” I once helped a mother hold her baby for the first time”? “I once saved a man’s life, and today he is the father of two”. Isn’t it beautiful if we at least try to preserve a soul for the sole purpose of good?
But if our goal is to achieve a decent health status for all mankind, how could we, as individuals in distant communities, achieve it? The answer is that we -alone- cannot.
We alone cannot provide decent medical care or even assistance in most of the regions in which it is extremely needed for many reasons.
In places like Syria, Occupied Palestine, and many of the countries of the Middle East, there is an abominable political chess game between world super powers that sadly diminishes the possibility of even providing basic care to innocent people, who find themselves trapped in an open war for resources and world dominance.
In Philippines, an erratic political system murders thousands of people in an effort to scare them away from drug use, instead of increasing public awareness campaigns, rehabilitation centers, and community centers.
Even in relatively advanced countries, the public health status isn’t satisfactory. Although the U.S. leads medical and scientific innovation, its health crisis leaves a large portion of its population in peril.
Therefore, the solution to our health crisis has to come from powerful organizations and corporations which have a moral responsibility to use their influences on world economy and governments to provide and apply active solutions to assist and bolster health services where they are needed. The biggest impact corporations can have is through their personnel. Giant, multi-national corporations have thousands of personnel of all ages and social backgrounds in dozens of countries, which they can recruit (volunteer only) to execute a three step long term plan.
Firstly, since many governments lie about or underestimate the true health condition of their citizens, corporations can start by using their employees- aided by experts- in a particular country to assess the situation objectively.
Secondly, after employees deliver their comprehensive reports about the health situation they observe, they can begin to form applicable plans to deal with the conditions they have described
Thirdly, after corporations have gathered and formulated all data and plans, they can start amassing required resources and individuals, and communicating with the respective government authorities.
I admit that this broad plan is relatively naïve and inapplicable in some countries; in Egypt, a totalitarian military regime disguised under civil authority will not allow any kind of effort to provide and execute community-altering plans that might undermine its rule; other regions, which have active wars or disputes, pose perils for all civil personnel.
But, step by step, corporations can begin to pressure and attract governments to cooperate and provide a foothold in their regions for their personal to study and solve the unacceptable conditions that our fellow brothers and sisters face.