Sunday, June 25, 2017

Thoughts on Poverty

| Article posted on October - 15 - 2006

Today my thoughts are wrapped around poverty and the way it robs people of hope and the opportunity to rise above the challenges of our world and time.

According to the 2004 Human Development Index, the Gambia is one of the poorest nations in the world, ranking 155 out of 177. It has been estimated that the vast majority of its population exists on less than $2 a day with the majority of those having to live on less than $1 a day. This unimaginable poverty has major implications for the nation’s health. The Gambia, it has been said, is a sub-Saharan “country under siege from the combined pressure of poverty and disease.”

Therefore, most families must spend whatever dalasi they may have on items necessary for survival, such as food, clothing and shelter. Often this leaves no money for medical care and medications, causing much hardship and unnecessary suffering.

An opinion paper in The Daily Observer, called “Gambia: In the Hope of a Better Tomorrow” and published earlier this month, stated that “the perennial problem[s] in Africa such as hunger, diseases, poor governance, and the control of wealth by the minority have made life in Africa almost unlivable.”

It is high time, I think, that we help to change the odds in favor of the people—finally. People should not have to suffer and die—unseen, unheard, unnoticed—just because they cannot afford to be seen by a doctor, amongst other things. Conditions must change, and we must be a part of it.

“I am gravely concerned with the global situation where people are unhappy, terrified and hungry. I wish there were a much bigger way I would help…,” the writer of the opinion paper declared. We agree with him, and, yes, we are very concerned, as well. Luckily, we can and will do something about it.

Dr. Ingrid Feder Sidibeh, President & CEO / Excecutive Board of Directors
Ingrid Feder Sidibeh, MD


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