La nueva frontera de los servicios de salud

PEKÍN – Los países en vías de desarrollo enfrentan un obstáculo aparentemente insalvable para la provisión de servicios de salud a sus poblaciones con rápido crecimiento –o, en algunos casos, con rápido envejecimiento. Especialmente cuando los sistemas de salud se ven cada vez más sobrecargados y se propagan las enfermedades infecciosas y de otros tipos. Como el acceso a la medicina en estas regiones es un desafío multifacético, resulta mejor abordarlo mediante una combinación de actores.

Son necesarias relaciones duraderas y de colaboración entre empresas farmacéuticas, gobiernos, organizaciones sin fines de lucro y líderes comunitarios para ayudar a las poblaciones desfavorecidas a superar sus desafíos de salud. Juntas, estas partes deben adoptar un enfoque binario, que se ocupe tanto de los factores del «hardware» (que se mantienen constantes, como la distancia física a los centros de tratamiento y las extensas cadenas de aprovisionamiento) como de los factores del «software» (los intangibles, que varían en gran medida en cada región, como el rol de la familia y las creencias culturales).

Estos principios tienen especial relevancia en lugares como la provincia rural China de Sinkiang, donde la expectativa de vida se ha atascado en los 67 años (cuando en el país en su conjunto alcanza los 73,5 años) y la falta de acceso a la atención sanitaria mina el bienestar. Sinkiang cubre aproximadamente 650 000 millas cuadradas (1,7 millones de kilómetros cuadrados), pero solo aloja a 21 millones de personas, muchas de las cuales son miembros de tribus nómades. Desde un punto de vista económico, la resistencia de Sinkiang es fundamental para la estrategia china de crecimiento: se la considera el portal del país hacia el Oeste.

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