Matsepang Nyoba’s newborn baby girl died shortly after birth in the roach-infested maternity ward of Queen Elizabeth II, a crumbling sprawl that is the largest hospital in Lesotho, a mountainous nation of 2.1 million people surrounded by South Africa.
The infant was limp and barely breathing at birth. A nurse rushed her to the nursery, packed with sick babies, some two to a crib. Jury-rigged stethoscope tubes let six of the babies share lifesaving oxygen from a single valve.
There was no oxygen tube for Mankuebe. She asphyxiated for lack of a second valve. It would have cost $35.
What led to the death of this baby girl and so many more in Lesotho, a country in the throes of a healthcare crises?
It's complicated, but the cause of little Mankuebe'a death can be tracked back to the The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. An indirect consequence of money applied indiscriminately and without due care for the fragile medical eco-sytem within Lesotho, The widespread distribution of retro viral drugs to combat Aids has been saving lives, many of them. That has impacted other sectors of the health care systems in Africa. Increased births are an excellent example. Increasing numbers with no funding or equipment to cope. placing further and unsustainable strain on antiquated systems. Babies are dying because of it.
Companies like the Gates Foundation don't assess these broader impacts beyond the scope of their projects, in fact, doctors and healthcare workers are encouraged to avoid discussing these issues with patients.
We cannot allow these imbalances to continue unchecked, saving one group at the expense of another. A more responsible, properly researched and transparent approach is required by both Pharma and privately funded philanthropic ventures. Healthcare has a moral obligation to protect all lives and to ensure that poorer third world countries are not designated as ground zero for the uncontrolled and often unsanctioned testing of new medicines.
It is Medika's goal to highlight these plights globally, irrespective of location or demographic. MOBILIZE™ allows us to encourage discourse and amplify your voices, towards a fairer, more equitable and accessible healthcare infrastructure. We'd love you to join us.
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