Thursday, February 24, 2011

Who needs doctors, anyway?! Lessons from rural India.

I'll let these two important New York Times articles by Tina Rosenberg about community health workers speak for themselves: "Villages Without Doctors" and a follow-up article incorporating important comments on the factors that make or break such programs.

Curative medicine, the kind physicians are trained in, has a tendency to reach the few and the rich rather than the many and the poor. And it treats so many conditions that could have been prevented. What a poor use of resources. The world needs more simple public health initiatives and basic health care, and the vulnerable poor have a perfect right to implement them. Prevention! Prevention! Prevention! Education! Education! Education!

That health care belongs to "the people" is also the core belief of the wonderful Hesperian Foundation, of Where There Is No Doctor fame--a topic for another day.

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