Humble Versus Harmful
Laboratory medicine is saving lives every day through its efforts in humanitarian crises – so why is nobody talking about it?
Fedra Pavlou |
According to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, in the last year alone, more than 76 million people from 31 countries needed humanitarian assistance and the number of people displaced by conflict exceeded 51 million. That’s the highest number since World War II! But when you hear the words “humanitarian crisis,” what’s your initial association? Natural disaster? Disease epidemic? War? Does laboratory medicine spring to mind? I would hazard a guess the answer is probably “no.” Imagine, then, the level of awareness among the general public, and even other medical professionals, of the lifesaving role that pathology and lab medicine play during these crises – such contributions certainly don’t make mainstream press. Recent disease outbreaks have been in the headlines for months on end, and though lab medicine has been vital in helping bring both Ebola and Zika epidemics under control, the brave work of the doctors involved has not been recognized. Why? As always, it comes back to (you guessed it) communication – or lack thereof.
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