Paul Lachine

Die vergessenen Kranken

LIVERPOOL – Die Industrieländer sind mit den globalen Bedrohungen viraler Infektionskrankheiten vertraut, die bei reichen wie armen Völkern Angst auslösen. Die Pandemien SARS, die Vogel- und Schweinegrippe haben die Weltwirtschaft schätzungsweise 200amp#160;Milliarden US-Dollar gekostet. Diese Bedrohungen treten häufig und unvermittelt durch den Kontakt zwischen Mensch und Tier auf. Regierungen, UN-Agenturen, Aufsichtsbehörden und die Pharmaindustrie müssen im Hinblick auf die Koordinierung, Überwachung und Impfstoffproduktion schnell reagieren.

Doch die ärmsten Menschen der Welt – die von weniger als 2amp#160;Dollar am Tag leben – werden oft nicht als wichtig angesehen, wenn eine Pandemiebedrohung auftritt. Sie tragen nicht in bedeutendem Maße zur Weltwirtschaft bei, und die Gesundheitssysteme ihrer Länder arbeiten mit einem winzigen Bruchteil dessen, was die Industrieländer der Gesundheit ihrer Bevölkerung widmen.

Umgekehrt sehen die Industrieländer von den Krankheiten der Entwicklungsländer lediglich drei als wichtig an: AIDS, Tuberkulose und Malaria. Das kommt durch die Macht von Lobbygruppen und die Erkenntnis, dass diese Krankheiten die Industrieländer bedrohen könnten. Infolgedessen werden zur Erforschung und Kontrolle dieser Leiden unverhältnismäßig viele Mittel aufgewendet, während andere Infektionen viel mehr Menschen – die „untere Milliarde“ mit geringerem Zugang zu medizinischer Versorgung – töten, erblinden lassen, deformieren und verkrüppeln.

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