A nurse vaccinates an Indonesian schoolboy  CHAIDEER MAHYUDDIN/AFP/Getty Images

用疫苗战胜贫困

日内瓦—对大部分人来说,在威胁生命的疾病和终身背负债务的命运之间做出选择根本不是一种选择。但每一年全世界都有几亿人因为高不可攀的医疗成本而被迫做出这样的选择。而矛盾的是,受影响最大的并不是医疗费最贵的人群,而是生活在世界最贫困地区的人群。

尽管美国等国家医疗成本出了名的高,因病负债已成为个人破产的主要原因之一,但相对收入而言,生活在穷国的人花在医疗上的钱更多。而由于医疗保险难以获得或过于昂贵,并且破产保护又不存在,他们和他们的家庭往往因病致贫。

但这一落在一些世界最脆弱群体头上的悲剧在很多情况下完全是可以避免的。《卫生事务》(Health Affairs)杂志2月号发表一篇新研究的表明还有一个选择:在很多例子中,医疗成本可以通过预防免除,即广泛使用平价疫苗。

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