Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Avoidable Pain


The above linked article tells about the suffering going on in Senegal.  Around the world, terminal diseases cause immense pain for thousands upon thousands of people before they die.  They are already sentenced to death for the most part with the disease they have, but the cruelty of the disease makes them suffer all the way to the end.  Medicine that relieves pain like morphine makes this time much more pleasant and bearable for many people.  Unfortunately, many third world countries cannot always provide these medicines for their citizens.  It becomes a completely different issue and a human rights violation when the government of a country is what is prohibiting this medicine and thus causing thousands of its own citizens unnecessary pain.  This is the problem happening in Senegal.  The government there is very restrictive and only allows for the import of one kilogram of morphine per year.  According to the article, that is only enough for 200 patients per year.  The country doesn’t have an amazing low disease rate and that’s why they need so little morphine. No. They have thousand of people (about 70,000 per year) that need medicine to control the painful symptoms of the diseases they have.  The government has the ability to help these people but does not.  This violation of human rights reminds me just how lucky I am.  That instant pain relief is always there when I need it.  I never have to worry while thousands of people cannot live ordinary lives in Senegal because their government refuses to import more morphine to help them.

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