The World and Healthcare
The state of the world, such as it is, demands better understanding and appreciation of the events. In the United Nations, as well as the United States many are beating their chest to the drums of protectionism and patriotism.
All through the presentations at the UN, we heard complaints and criticism about the injustices happening around the world. Whether it is the Rohingya, Syrians, Africans, Yemenis, Venezuelans or Central Americans, the refugee crisis is central to everyone's concern. Among the most alarming of complaints was the health status of these. The world still remembers the influenza of 1918, the deadliest in history that killed an estimated 30 - 50 million. It is disheartening that after a hundred years, not only have we not eliminated the cause of the world's core problems, we are contributing to it.
It was President Michel Temer of Federative Republic of Brazilwho said it best: "… There is a piece of the world in every Brazilian." That could be said about everyone of us in the Western Hemisphere. For unless one is a Native American, we are all immigrants or children of immigrants in this part of the world. We have come from Africa, Europe and Asia and brought a piece of it with us. It is this entropy that makes the Western Hemisphere such a desirable destination. For, not only does it open for us a new part of the world, it shows that the mixture of cultures can produce a stronger and smarter civilization.
On a personal note, I can assert that my experience has been that whenever opportunity had me work with people of other cultures, the gained knowledge was greater and richer.
Doctor Patel was an Indian general surgeon whom I worked with in Dominica - he used to chant (under lip) while operating. It created an immense atmosphere of peace in that room. Our anesthesiologist told me on several occasions that Dr. Patel's patients seem to be in a state of trance. Something he never saw when he worked with other surgeons.
After the civil war in Jordan, I was deployed there with the American Red Cross. We joined other groups of the International Red Cross. With them was a Swedish nurse who was a nun named; Mary. It was fascinating to watch the majority Muslim patients respect her to the point of reverence. They often said that she reminded them of Mary, mother of Jesus and felt at peace in her presence.
Although the prayers and religious beliefs of these people seemed to play a role, I feel that it was their genuine concern and care for the patients that played the big part.
As stated by the UN Secretary-General António Guterres: “It is time all nations, and all people live up to the words of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes the inherent dignity and equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human race. …”
Despite all the problems facing the world today, our technology of Telehealth, Telemedicine, and Tele-education provides us with plenty of tools to help our fellow human beings. Organizations such as American Telemedicine Association (ATA), UNM Project ECHO and others are at the forefront of this revolution. We can help support their efforts by talking with our government officials and educate them on the advances of telehealth and telecommunication and its use in helping our world.
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