News Miriam Donohoe

Saturday 25 March 2017

You think your life is bad until you see true poverty

'The vast majority of people in Uganda are just subsisting. When somebody gets ill, this completely upsets this life rhythm and there is a desperate scramble to try and get funds. Often, ill people forego health treatment rather than risk money for housing, food and education.'
'The vast majority of people in Uganda are just subsisting. When somebody gets ill, this completely upsets this life rhythm and there is a desperate scramble to try and get funds. Often, ill people forego health treatment rather than risk money for housing, food and education.'
Miriam Donohoe

Miriam Donohoe

Rose is 29 years of age and has advanced cervical cancer. From a small village outside Mbarara in Western Uganda, she was diagnosed last September after complaining of abdominal pain and heavy bleeding.

If she was living in Ireland - or indeed any developed country in the West - she would have started on treatment straight away. It wouldn't have mattered if she had money or not. And her chances of survival - or at least an extension to life - would have been high.

But Rose lives in Uganda, where the health system is underdeveloped and chaotic. And it's not free. If you can't pay for treatment, the likelihood is you suffer and eventually die. Even if you have money for treatment, the services are appalling. The rich can afford to travel to neighbouring countries to get well.

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