In Poverty Pandemic One, the main point made is that perennial and pervasive poverty remains the principal threat to life. This point was made in June 2020, when 15 per ent of the world’s population lived in poverty while seven million corona virua cases existed globally, constituting 10 per cent of the world’s population (UNDP Multi-dimentional Poverty Index; WHO). A month later, WHO reports that the total number of corona virus cases has reached the sixteen million persons figure, more than double the figure a month ago.
Given the forgoing WHO Report about the current number of corona virus cases globally, some persons are concluding that the corona pandemic is the most important pandemic to be given attention. Isn’t it true that were global poverty to have been given top priority in the alleviation of pandemics, the world would be better prepared to handle any public health pandemic? Certainly, with the poor population being given highest poverty alleviation priority, notably with better public health conditions, the world would be better prepared to handle any other pandemic. In the industrialized or developed countries, like the United States of America (USA), with the world’s largest economy, there continues to be life-threatening inadequacies related to corona virus testing, mask wearing, ventilators and social distancing (CDC; Johns Hopkins University Health Center). With these inadequacies in the developed countries, the public health inadequacies in the developing countries would be even greater, as they are shown to be currently. In fact, the best evidence to make the point about the Poverty Pandemic is seen in the current surge of corona virus case in the USA and Brazil.
There are typical cases of the bad public health situation in the developing countries. First, there is the irrelevant curative system rather the relevant preventive system. Second, many patients get to a public health facility and there is no public health personnel to attend to them and they end up dying because of this lack of attention. Third, many patients die because of the attention given to them by unqualified and incompetent public health personnel, including medical doctors. Fourth, many patients die because of the lack of medicines, which get stolen by medical practitioners who run their respective private businesses with impunity, and fifth, many patients die because of the lack of electricity.
The corona virus pandemic is yet another Wake-up Call to the Global Community for top priority attention to be given to solving the perennial and pervasive problem of poverty.
By: Togba-Nah Tipoteh