Despite the existence of inexpensive and safe treatment, over one billion people in tropical countries still suffer from disfiguring and debilitating diseases associated with poverty. Diseases such as elephantiasis, yaws and leprosy remain untreated due to the absence of political will and lack of directed resources.
Jai Narain, South East Asia director of communicable diseases at the World Health Organisation, (WHO) recently stated; “these tropical diseases have been neglected by policy makers, by the research community and also by the international community, — but at the same time these diseases cause considerable amount of suffering, disability, disfigurement and even social economic impact, particularly for populations which are extremely marginalised,” He further stated that, “These diseases are closely related to poverty,–” He also said that Indonesia has cured 370,000 people who suffered from leprosy but new cases keep emerging, especially in the poorer eastern part of the country.
Once again we see the priorities of the festering marriage between the state and the corporate greed machine. As capitalist globalisation marches forward ever increasing the gap between rich and poor at the same time as increasing the number of people living in poverty and the resultant despair and diseases that are part and parcel of poverty, it becomes obvious that solving these problems is of no real concern. Offering cheap effective cures to sick marginalised people in poverty is not really a profit maker and so will be away down the list of priorities, if on the list at all.
If we accept a system that will create poverty and disease while siphoning all the wealth up to an over privileged parasitical bunch of shareholders, that makes us complicit in this dreadful crime against the most vulnerable. If we selfishly enjoy some of the fruits of this system and close our eyes to the avoidable suffering of others, we are guilty of perpetuating the corrupt and brutal system.
We as human beings owe it to those in poverty and all its attendant misery and disease to see an end to this system of winner takes all and to hell with the hindmost. There is an alternative way to structure society free from the greed driven profit motive, it can’t be built on the back of this system of greed and selfishness. This system has to be destroyed and in its place we can create a social structure that sees to the needs of all those involved in that society. A system based on sustainability, and mutual aid, where someone’s poverty is the responsibility of all of us. Where all our children can grow to their full potential free from the fear of deprivation.