Thursday, April 5, 2012

Too Few Doctors

The Touching Tiny Lives campus is located adjacent to the Mokhotlong Hospital. This provides TTL with the necessary support in caring for those babies that are too sick to remain at the safe-home. It also allows us to take children at the safe-home for regular check-ups to ensure that they're making progress and growing strong. Without this additional care, many of our babies suffering from HIV, TB, or malnutrition would not be the lively, laughing children they are today.
Tiana and Hannah, volunteers from Georgetown Medical School, take Tholohelo and Tlotlisang to the hospital for check-ups. I promise there are actually babies bundled up in those blankets!
Needless to say, not everyone suffering from HIV/AIDS in Lesotho has this immediate access to medical care. The low number of trained health care workers in Lesotho is somewhat startling. Lesotho has only one physician for every 20,247 people. Compare that to the United States with one physician for about every 370 people. Of the four countries with the highest prevalence of HIV and AIDS, Lesotho has the highest discrepancies between physicians and patients.  There is only one physician for every 3,034 Basotho living with HIV and AIDS and there this is only one nurse for every 240 Basotho living with HIV and AIDS.*

Okay, this is the part where I admit that I’m a bit of statistics nerd and show this same information in some graphs.
Pretty astounding, isn't it?

In North America, we are assured a doctor’s visit within a relatively short time of coming down with even a minor condition. Combine these health system limitations with the challenges of poverty and the rural nature of Mokhotlong and perhaps some insight is provided into the challenging and devastating nature of this epidemic in Lesotho.

*The data in this post was taken from Reviewing" Emergencies" in HIV and AIDS-affected Countries in Southern Africa: Shifting the Paradigm in Lesotho, 2009.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

great post, Julie!

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