When medical treatment is luxury

Some days ago I got a terrible message from one of my best Rohingya friends who is also living in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

He had his blood tested and was diagnosed with Hepatitis C. This is nothing unusual in the camps since approximately 70 percent of the Rohingya population there have to live with this desease. Naturally my friend was in total shock hearing this. Not only because this is a severe health condition but more over because for a Rohingya living in the camps its basically impossible to get the right medicine to cure this virus. He told me that the treatment fighting this desease takes three months in which the patient has to take regulary strong medicine. I couldn’t believe my ears when he told me that no medical facility or practising doctor inside the camps could provide this medicine to any Hepatitis C or B patient because it was simply too expansive. He told me the cost all in all for one patient to heal this would  be around 2.000 Euro. Again I came to this frustrating understanding like so many times before in my life that poor people in this world are simply totally left alone when things like this happen and are simply left to die, no matter if rich people could prevent that from happening.

Of course I know that my friend will not die. He knows many people and will find a way to raise this money and to get the right treatment outside of the camps. He will have to struggle though and will need all his strength to pull through this difficult time until he will be healthy again.

The whole story leaves one question to me: If there is a cure against Hepatitis and if so many poor people got this, why can’t the pharma industry just produce this medicine cheaper so that everyone can get it? Do millions of poor people in the third world just don’t count? It’s still all just a matter of luck. Nothing has ever changed that. The pure luck to be born in the right place of this planet. 20.10.2020