Robyn Lee/Flickr

Atención médica sin amantes protectores

LAGOS – Durante una cena reciente en un restaurant en la capital de Nigeria, Abuja, observé a una pareja despareja. El hombre parecía tener por lo menos 60 años, pero llevaba puestos un jean muy angosto y una remera sin mangas ajustada, con una cadena de oro grande y anteojos de sol oscuros, a pesar de que eran más de las ocho de la noche. Su compañera, que no parecía tener más de 22 años, caminaba de prisa detrás de él con tres amigas. La joven intentaba incluirlo en su conversación, incluso se inclinaba ocasionalmente para darle un beso, pero una sonrisa frágil no podía ocultar el creciente malestar de su amante rico.

Por supuesto, este tipo de relaciones no son nuevas y tampoco se limitan a Nigeria. A pocos les sorprende ver que un hombre mayor adinerado se involucre con una mujer más joven y más pobre, a quien le promete financiar su educación, sus viajes o sus compras a cambio de su compañía. Lo que sí sorprende es cuando una de estas relaciones se convierte en algo profundo y duradero.

La relación entre África y Occidente, especialmente en lo que concierne a la asistencia médica, se asemeja marcadamente a esta dinámica de tío rico. Durante décadas, las innovaciones en el ámbito de la salud fueron copiadas de los países desarrollados, tal vez con leves variaciones, en base al concepto de que el padre sabe más. Pero los resultados han sido engorrosos, caros y casi nunca sustentables.

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