Paul Lachine

Los enfermos olvidados

LIVERPOOL – El mundo desarrollado está familiarizado con las amenazas globales de infecciones virales que producen miedo tanto en las poblaciones ricas como entre los pobres. La pandemia de SARS, la gripe aviar y la gripe porcina le han costado a la economía global unos 200.000 millones de dólares. Estas amenazas surgen frecuente e impredeciblemente como consecuencia del contacto humano con los animales. Se necesita una respuesta rápida de los gobiernos, las agencias de las Naciones Unidas, las autoridades regulatorias y la industria farmacéutica a los efectos de coordinación, vigilancia y producción de vacunas.

Pero la gente más pobre –los que viven con menos de 2 dólares por día- muchas veces no es considerada importante cuando surge una amenaza pandémica. Ellos no contribuyen significativamente a la economía global, y los sistemas de salud de sus países funcionan con una pequeña fracción de lo que las economías avanzadas dedican a la salud de sus poblaciones.

Inversamente, la visión que tienen los países desarrollados de las enfermedades del mundo en desarrollo es que sólo tres son importantes: el sida, la tuberculosis y la malaria. Esto surge del poder de los grupos de presión y el reconocimiento de que estas enfermedades podrían amenazar al mundo desarrollado. En consecuencia, estas enfermedades reciben una cantidad desproporcionada de financiamiento para investigación y control, mientras que otras enfermedades que matan, enceguecen, deforman y dejan inválidos a muchos más –los “mil millones de abajo”- amp#160;tienen un acceso limitado a la atención sanitaria.

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