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DailyGood News That Inspires

January 24, 2020

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Treatable Deaths are Also Violence

No person, I think, ever saw a herd of buffalo, of which a few were fat and the great majority lean. No person ever saw a flock of birds, of which two or three were swimming in grease, and the others all skin and bone.

– Henry George –

Treatable Deaths are Also Violence

“In 2009, after completing my medical residency at a county hospital in Los Angeles I signed up to split my time between San Francisco and some of the most economically destitute parts of the planet. It was a simple calculation about where to best use my skills. In an academic medical center in San Francisco, there could be 50 doctors on one floor. If I disappeared hardly anyone would notice. In rural Burundi, there were often fewer than one doctor per 100,000 people. So, I went there….The gradient of power is never quite as stark as the encounter of an American physician with a poor patient from a rural community in a low-income country. The inequity gap across education, race, nationality, gender, wealth, is as great as between almost any two people on the planet. At the same time the relationship between doctor and patient can lean sacred. As I listen to someone’s body or gently examine their belly, the possibility of something redemptive arising exists for both of us. What does it mean to stand in solidarity? What must be the privilege of the health worker to truly stand alongside them?” Sriram Shamasunder shares more in this arresting compilation of excerpts from his Burundi journals. { read more }

Be The Change

Sriram Shamasunder is co-founder of the HEAL Initiative at UCSF. Learn more about HEAL’s groundbreaking approach to fostering equity in global health here. { more }

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