I was watching a documentary on the HIV/aids situation in Myanmar. The focus was on shelters set up by a volunteer for people diagnosed with the illness. As these people are shunned by neighbours in their villages, they make way to the shelters to seek medical aid and refuge. All of them are also poor and can barely make ends meet.
The sad fact of life is that medical supplies are expensive and thus, only the rich can afford to keep up with the payment for these necessities to keep them alive for the rest of their lives. The poor just look to their governments for aid and rely on the goodwill of the rich. To make things worse, their government is just not very smart when it comes to such issues. It makes me really sad and angry to hear that their government does not do anything to help these people. In fact, they make things worse by creating trouble for the volunteer, threatening to close down the shelters. They have even ordered Doctors Without Borders to stop their work.
It is said that the medicine the patients need cost USD30 a month. If for any reason, the patient stops taking the medicine, when they start to take it again, they need a second dosage which brings the cost up to USD60. For such poor people, they cannot afford this.
A family was featured where the husband passed the HIV virus to his wife, who in turn passed it to her baby girl. The couple have a healthy three-year-old son as well. Doctors have advised the mother to stop breastfeeding her baby girl as they believe this is aggravating the virus in her daughter. However, she sadly told the camera crew that this is not possible as they are too poor to buy a substitute to feed her daughter. It is heartbreaking to hear this.
I am angry. Why doesn’t their government do anything? Is setting aside USD30 a day to ensure someone else gets a chance to experience life too hard to ask of a rich government official?
It’s at times like these that I wish I could save these people from their misery. They don’t deserve to die just coz their government is incompetent. But there are just too many people in the world that needs to be saved.
And so, I go to sleep feeling frustrated.